Alison Hammond has revealed she met Muhammad Ali as a child, with the boxing legend giving her a cuddle and kiss for a photo.
The This Morning presenter, 46, revealed the anecdote as part of a debate on whether children should be taught consent from when they are babies.
She recalled meeting the boxer as a small child as her dad had worked in his security team and not wanting him to kiss and cuddle her for a photo.
Alison explained: ‘So Muhammad Ali, I went to Birmingham as my dad was Muhammad Ali’s bodyguard and basically we went to meet him.
‘I was only five or six and I can remember Muhammad Ali grabbing me and trying to kiss me and I was literally pulling away thinking “Just get off me, just get off me.”’
While Alison wasn’t keen on it at the time, she admits that she loves the fact she has the photo to look back on now as an adult.
She explained: ‘Obviously now, as an adult, I’m so glad he pulled me towards him! I’m so glad I didn’t consent because now I’ve got those photos of me and Muhammad Ali.’
The anecdote came as part of a debate with a TikTok star called Brittany who has been teaching her child about consent since she was born.
The Australian mother revealed that she always gives her one-year-old a choice of whether to cuddle her and talks her through the things she has to do for her, including nappy changes.
Brittany explained: ‘I think it can sound a little bit strange so I just want to put it into context. Children, before they can even speak, are observational learners.
‘So that means that they are taking in and internalising the way that you are with them, the way that you behave with other people, how you are interacting with strangers and so forth.’
She revealed that she and her husband had discussed consent and how they would parent their child before it was born and it had raised some eyebrows with family and friends.
Others added: ‘The baby is 1…how can it decide…?’ and ‘Making a rod for your own back there love! Wait till baby is older and starts stating No Consent to everything!’
Some agreed with Brittany, adding: ‘As weird as she sounds I think it’s important to teach children – from toddler age about consent to cuddle and kiss for example. [Nothing] worse than forcing babies kiss and cuddle’ and ‘She is sensible. Nothing wrong with teaching a child to have choice. Nothing worse than kids being forced to hug and kiss people. Including relative. Nothing wrong with asking. “Can I hug you”’.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.
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