ALISON Hammond’s This Morning co-star has sent his support as cops launched an investigation over a sinister blackmail plot against the presenter.
Matthew Wright – who is often a guest on the show’s paper review – wrote on Twitter: “Sending @AlisonHammond a hug xx.”
His heartfelt note came after The Sun revealed Alison handed over thousands of pounds to a so-called friend who was threatening to “ruin” her.
The blackmailer said he’d tell damaging lies to end her career if she failed to lavish money on him.
She even bought him a £5,000 BMW as his demands increased during an eight-month ordeal.
The 48-year-old This Morning host told a friend: “I’ve been so naive and feel so stupid.”
New Bake Off host Alison showed officers the sickening blackmail messages this week after summoning the courage to report him.
West Midlands Police today confirmed an investigation had been launched.
Cops revealed they are taking the allegations “very seriously” and the probe is “progressing swiftly”.
They are now seeking the man, a former friend who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
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Pals say new Bake Off co-host Alison is scared for her and her family’s safety after “turning off the tap” of cash to report him.
Alison was at her wits’ end after agreeing to his demands. Despite the man’s issues with drugs, they forged an unlikely friendship.
Alison tried to break off the friendship multiple times but he always wheedled his way back into her life.
The threats and exploitation Alison was subjected to reached a crescendo last week.
She told a colleague: “He sent me a message stating that if I didn’t give him £3,500 he would ruin me.
Despite this, Alison has bravely continued to star on This Morning with millions of viewers oblivious to her real-life heartbreak.
Yesterday Alison hid her anguish from viewers as she co-hosted This Morning with Dermot O’Leary.
She recently signed to replace Matt Lucas as co-host of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off — and has been snapped up for Sky quiz In Demand.
Brummie Alison shares a teenage son Aiden with her ex-husband Noureddine Boufaied.
A former holiday rep, she has seen her TV career go from strength to strength since appearing as a contestant on the third series of Big Brother in 2002.