Alison Hammond praised as Cliff Richard sparks fury with awkward weight jibe

Fans of This Morning have come out in support of Alison Hammond after she made a sly joke about Cliff Richard whilst he appeared on the ITV show.

Music legend Cliff, 83, appeared on the flagship daytime TV show to promote his new album Cliff with Strings – My Kinda Life. Richard joined Hammond, together with Dermot O'Leary and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson to discuss the album and an upcoming book.

During the course of the interview, Cliff mentioned that he was approached by a reporter to meet Elvis Presley, with whom he cited as a major influence on his music. Cliff said he was thrilled to but eventually decided to call the meeting off.

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"I had one chance through a journalist when I was promoting Devil Woman in the States," the Living Doll singer recalled. "He said, 'Oh I know Elvis' – because he knew that I was influenced by him."

The journalist offered the chance to bring the two together, to which Cliff jumped at the chance. However, he was eventually put off the meeting after Cliff realised he had gained some weight.

"At the end of the interview though, I said – 'Can we put it off?' – because he had put on a lot of weight," Cliff admitted. "And I thought if I'm having a photograph taken with him – and it's gonna be hanging on my refrigerator – he's gotta look good."

Cliff then told the presenting trio that he then opted out of the opportunity to meet Elvis, who passed away shortly afterwards. Listening to the story, host Dermot let out a sigh as he lamented the King of Rock n Roll's passing.

Richard then appealed to those who wanted to meet their heroes, telling them to meet them "even if they've put on a bit of weight". Alison then quickly quipped back: "Is that why you don't want me at your house? Anyway…"

Fans watching the show were shocked to hear his comments, with many flooding social media with their disdain for what he said. One user uploaded a GIF of a man digging himself in a hole, with a second user adding: "He just keeps going, he doesn't try to back peddle at all."

Others commended Alison for handling the situation well, after she embarked on her own weight loss journey – already shedding the pounds. One fan chimed in: "Quality reaction from the Hammond tho. Handled well."

A second viewer added: "I love Alison for this, fair play to her." Whilst a third piled on: "She handled it well without letting him off the hook."

This Morning airs every weekday at 10am on ITV1 and ITVX.

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