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With their infectious sense of fun, it’s no surprise that Alison Hammond and Josie Gibson spend most of their time together laughing. They both found fame on Big Brother, and are now so close they often speak on the phone every day. Josie, 35, even credits Alison, 45, for helping her survive lockdown!
However, their friendship is set to be put to the test in a new four-part series on This Morning called Alison And Josie’s Staycation Showdown, which will see the pair competing to find the quirkiest places to stay in the UK.
“This is all about trying to get one up on Josie,” says Alison, who teamed up with Rochelle Humes in August as the first black co-hosts on the ITV show.
Here, Alison, who has a teen son called Aiden, 15, and Josie, who’s mum to two-year-old son Reggie, talk about their new venture and why they think they’re better than Ant and Dec…
Inside Alison Hammond's gorgeous home as she bakes live for This Morning
Inside Josie Gibson's home she shares with her ex-boyfriend and adorable son
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So you two are really good friends?
Alison: Josie and I are really close. We spoke to each other every day during lockdown.
Josie: Alison actually got me through lockdown. She was there for me on the phone every night, and we decided to get very spiritual together. I love her. Being around Alison is like having a permanent hug.
Are you looking forward to getting some time away?
Alison: Having a break away with a friend and getting away from the kids for a bit will be nice. A small bit of normality after lockdown, and going abroad can be so overrated.
Do you think you’re the new Ant and Dec?
Josie: I’d say we’re much better looking than Ant and Dec!
Alison: There’s no one quite like Josie and Alison – we’re on another level! Let’s just hope this series doesn’t ruin our friendship! We love each other now, but who knows what will happen by the end – we might not want to speak to each other.
Are you really competitive?
Josie: Very. When I left school I was a travel agent, so I’m going to blow Alison out of the water.
Alison: My competitive side will definitely rear its ugly head. But I love Josie, so if she wins it’ll be okay.
Josie, why do you call Alison “Queenie”?
Because she’s an absolute queen. Everything she does is from the heart. She’s got something really special about her. I’m definitely the Robin to her Batman.
Alison: I’d rather be called “Princess”… that would make me feel younger.
Do you think you could ever host This Morning together?
Alison: Josie is a comedy genius but she doesn’t know it. We’d be laughing way too much and get ourselves into trouble. I’m not sure it’d be wise.
Josie: Alison makes it look easy, but I don’t think I could concentrate for that many hours. I’m not politically correct enough either! I wouldn’t last two minutes.
Who’s your ideal travel companion?
Alison: My son Aiden. When we go on holiday together, he hasn’t got his computer games and he becomes a normal child and someone that actually wants to speak to me. You can’t beat some quality mother-and-son time. He’s growing up so much and he’s lovely to be around.
Josie: I’ve actually got my ideal travel companion here – Alison! We’ve been on holiday together before and we had a scream. But otherwise, it would be my little boy and my friends.
What could you never travel without?
Alison: My make-up, toiletry bag, my phone and charger. Oh, and my bandana for my hair. I’d turn the car around to go fetch it. I’ve also got a silk scarf that I sleep in to keep my hair nice.
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Where do you love to holiday?
Josie: The Scottish Highlands and Wales. I learnt to surf in Costa Rica – it was incredible.
Alison: Devon has amazing beaches but I also love relaxing on my sunlounger in the back garden, doing some online shopping. Tunisia has a soft spot in my heart and Jamaica too, because that’s my motherland.
What do you love about home?
Josie: In Bristol it’s the people. Living in London, I knocked on my neighbour’s door for a chat and they complained about me. The landlord said I was a weirdo! I moved back to Bristol and knew everyone on my street within 48 hours.
Alison: I lost my mum earlier this year to cancer and she’s now laid to rest just a short walk away. It’s really important to me to still be close to her. I’ve been in Birmingham all my life. It’s 100 per cent home to me.
Alison and Josie’s Staycation Showdown is on ITV’s This Morning from Monday 28 September at 10am
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