The popular presenter, 46, has revealed her late father Cliff regularly handled wads of cash and carried a shotgun in his truck.
The mum-of-one opened up about her “charming but naughty dad” in her book You’ve Got to Laugh, where she explained that her dad ran a business importing trucks and was often travelling between his native country, the Caribbean, and the UK.
Alison 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.”
She went on: “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.
“I’m embarrassed to admit it, because I’ve never been remotely interested in drugs, but I remember him coming to our house and giving my mum a roll of money.
“Thinking about it now, it was probably money earned from smuggling ganja. So shady.”
She also reveals that her mum, Maria, who passed away in 2020, only discovered he was married with a family when she was pregnant with Alison.
The bubbly presenter recalls when her dad used to visit he often came bearing expensive gifts.
She said: “My dad definitely had the lifestyle.
“Whenever we went out for a meal with him, he always paid. ‘Have anything you want,’ he’d say.
“He introduced us to Chinese food back when it was a luxury to have a Chinese takeaway.
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“We had it every time he came and I became obsessed with it, to the point where I asked my mum, ‘Do you think Santa will bring me some Chinese food for breakfast, if I write and ask him?’
“I didn’t realise how amazing Santa was until that year when he delivered a cold Chinese meal – RESULT!”
The TV favourite also recalls visits to her father in Jamaica.
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She wrote: “He was like a king when we visited him. 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.
“Me and Mum stayed in a hotel and my dad used to collect us most days and take us out and about. I’d sit in the back of the truck and Mum and Dad would be up front.”
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