West Midlands Police are investigating allegations of blackmail targeted against TV presenter Alison Hammond.

The 48-year-old regularly presents ITV’s This Morning alongside Dermot O’Leary and was recently announced as the new co-host of The Great British Bake Off, replacing Matt Lucas.

In a statement, West Midlands Police said: “We are investigating an allegation of blackmail of a woman in her 40s.

“We take reports of this kind very seriously and our inquiries are progressing swiftly.”

According to reports in The Sun newspaper on Saturday, Hammond was blackmailed for large sums of money and a £5,000 BMW.

The newspaper reported claims that Hammond, who has an 18-year-old son, was put under pressure by her blackmailer who threatened to spread lies about her to damage her career if she did not co-operate with the demands.

The Birmingham presenter rose to fame as a contestant on the third series of Big Brother in 2002 and joined This Morning in the same year.

She currently presents the weekday daytime show with O’Leary on Friday mornings and has gone on to appear in multiple reality shows including I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Celebrity Coach Trip, Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity MasterChef.

In February, she co-hosted the Baftas with actor Richard E Grant.

It was confirmed last week that Hammond will take over from Matt Lucas to present the upcoming series of Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off with comedian Noel Fielding.

Additional reporting from Press Association.

By admin