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Alison Hammond recalls growing up with her ‘shady’ drug smuggler father who carried a shotgun

Alison Hammond has detailed growing up with her late drug smuggler father Clifford, whom she described as ‘shady’.

The This Morning presenter, 46, opened up on her dad – who died in 2020 – and his less than savory lifestyle in her book You’ve Got To Laugh, with excerpts serialised in The Mirror. 

And in her memoirs, the star recalled spending time with Clifford, who had split from her late mother Maria, and detailed how he was both ‘respected and feared’ within his community in Jamaica. 

Memories: Alison Hammond has detailed growing up with her late drug smuggler father Clifford, whom she described as ‘shady’

Birmingham native Alison’s mother only discovered that Clifford, who imported trucks between the UK and the Caribbean, was married with kids once she was pregnant with Alison.

And while she was brought up single-handed by her mother, Alison still had contact with her dad, telling of one occasion he visited from Jamaica, coming to her mother’s home straight from the airport.

She said: ‘One day, he came straight to our house from the airport. !See these boots?! he said, grinning down at his feet. “These are the most expensive pair of snakeskin boots in the world”. “Why are they so expensive?” my mum asked. He bent down, unzipped a boot and a load of ganja fell out.

Dad: The This Morning presenter, 46, opened up on her dad - who died in 2020 - and his less than savory lifestyle in her book You've Got To Laugh, with excerpts serialised in The Mirror

Dad: The This Morning presenter, 46, opened up on her dad – who died in 2020 – and his less than savory lifestyle in her book You’ve Got To Laugh, with excerpts serialised in The Mirror 

‘That was my dad! Cliff was charismatic and charming, but he was naughty. He’d illegally bring drugs into the country in the days when people could get away with it, before they introduced sniffer dogs and body scans at the airport.’

Despite her fondness for her father, Alison confessed that she was ’embarrassed to admit’ that the rolls of cash that he gave her mother upon his visits were probably earned from ‘smuggling ganja’, with the star remarking: ‘So shady!’ 

In her book, Alison – who shot to fame on Big Brother in 2002 – explained how Clifford ‘definitely had the lifestyle’ and would shower her with gifts and treat her to Chinese takeaways, which at the time was be considered a ‘luxury’.

And while she was treated like a princess by Clifford, the businessman was treated like a ‘king’ in his native Jamaica, with his powerful presence leaving residents ‘uneasy’ – most likely due to the shotgun he carried around with him.

Childhood: In her memoirs, the star recalled spending time with Clifford, who had split from her late mother Maria, and detailed how he was both 'respected and feared' within his community in Jamaica

Childhood: In her memoirs, the star recalled spending time with Clifford, who had split from her late mother Maria, and detailed how he was both ‘respected and feared’ within his community in Jamaica

Story: While she was brought up single-handed by her mother, Alison still had contact with her dad, telling of one occasion he visited from Jamaica, coming to her mother's home straight from the airport (pictured with mum Maria)

Story: While she was brought up single-handed by her mother, Alison still had contact with her dad, telling of one occasion he visited from Jamaica, coming to her mother’s home straight from the airport (pictured with mum Maria)

She said: ‘You could tell by the way people spoke about him that he was respected and feared in the community. They called him Mr Hammond and you could see the unease in their eyes when they spoke to him. I’m not surprised, either, because he drove everywhere with a massive shotgun tucked under his pick-up truck. He didn’t mess around.’

Clifford passed away in June 2020, just four months after Alison’s beloved mum Maria lost her battle with liver and lung cancer.

Taking to Instagram at the time, the TV presenter told of her sadness at not having spent much time with him and being unable to attend his funeral.

Power: 'You could tell by the way people spoke about him that he was respected and feared in the community. They called him Mr Hammond and you could see the unease in their eyes when they spoke to him'

Power: ‘You could tell by the way people spoke about him that he was respected and feared in the community. They called him Mr Hammond and you could see the unease in their eyes when they spoke to him’

She penned: ‘This is my real dad, Clifford Hammond, who passed away last week in Jamaica.

‘I’m saddened that I won’t be able to make his funeral and saddened that he wasn’t part of my life as much as I would have liked… but I still have a sense of loss and emptiness. Sleep well Daddy, love leaves a memory no one can steal. RIP.’

Meanwhile, on Thursday, shared a loving tribute to her mum Maria on the anniversary of her death.

The TV personality took to Instagram to mark two years since her late mother passed away from liver and lung cancer. 

Alongside a snap of her beloved mother in her younger days Alison wrote: ‘Mummy Two years today you left me and the pain has never left my heart.

So sad: Meanwhile, on Thursday, shared a loving tribute to her mum Maria on the anniversary of her death

So sad: Meanwhile, on Thursday, shared a loving tribute to her mum Maria on the anniversary of her death

She continued: ‘I love and Miss you sooo much . I hear and feel you all the time . My Angel Maria ❤️❤️❤️’

The star was flooded with supportive messages from her close pals and celebrity friends. 

Holly Willoughby wrote: ‘Ah Alison… sending huge love to you ❤️’ 

While colleague Ruth Langsford wrote:  ‘Oh darling….sending you so much love and one of my big hugs. Your Mum was, and always will be. SO proud of you ❤️’

Close friend Kate Lawler penned: ‘What a beautiful picture of your Mumma. She will be so proud of all you have accomplished since she passed darling x ❤️’   

Alongside a snap of her beloved mother in her younger days Alison wrote: 'Mummy Two years today you left me and the pain has never left my heart

Alongside a snap of her beloved mother in her younger days Alison wrote: ‘Mummy Two years today you left me and the pain has never left my heart 

Alison’s mum, who was from Guyana, tragically died in January 2020 and the star’s dad, who lives in Jamaica, also passed away in June of the same year.  

Announcing the sad news at the time, the former Big Brother star shared a series of photos of her mum – one of which showed her smiling wearing a yellow top while sitting on a hospital bed.

Alison wrote: ‘I dedicate Valentine’s Day to my beautiful , wonderful Mother Maria who passed away from liver and lung cancer.’  

Sweet: Announcing the sad news at the time, the former Big Brother star shared a series of photos of her mum

Sweet: Announcing the sad news at the time, the former Big Brother star shared a series of photos of her mum

‘Yesterday my family and I celebrated her amazing life and laid her to rest in a beautiful ceremony she would have been proud of.

‘Thank you mummy for giving me the strength to move forward in the knowledge that your ok and with God in Heaven now. I will always remember you and try and make you proud. I love you mum.’

The star added on Twitter: ‘RIP my best friend and Living Angel please come to my dreams.’   

Alison wrote: ‘I dedicate Valentine’s Day to my beautiful , wonderful Mother Maria who passed away from liver and lung cancer'

Alison wrote: ‘I dedicate Valentine’s Day to my beautiful , wonderful Mother Maria who passed away from liver and lung cancer’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk