Graham Norton addresses Alison Hammond’s blunder over his dead dog

Graham Norton has taken the blame for Alison Hammond's blunder over his dead dog, saying he thought the incident was funny.

Alongside Dermot O'Leary, Hammond is taking over Fridays on This Morning following the departure of Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.

During her debut this week, Norton appeared on the show to discuss his own new job as a weekend host on Virgin Radio.

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 31: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales shares a joke with presenter Alison Hammond during a visit to ITV's "This Morning" to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Royal Television Society at London Television Centre on January 31, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Geoff Pugh - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Big Brother 3 contestants (back row from left) Alison Hammond, Jonny Regan, PJ, Spencer Smith, Tim Cully and (front from left) Lynne Moncrieff, Jade Goody, Kate Lawler (winner) and Sunita Sharma. *....., during a photocall at Channel 4 headquarters in London to launch the new book "Inside Big Brother: Getting In and Staying In", published by Channel 4 Books . (Photo by Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18: Alison Hammond speaks as she attends the This Morning 25th Anniversary at Home House on November 18, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: (L-R) Chris Steele, Jeff Brazier, Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield Ruth Langsford, Eamonn Holmes, Matt Johnson, Denise Robertson, Alison Hammond and Sharon Marshall at the National Television Awards at 02 Arena on January 22, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Alison Hammond attends the red carpet launch for Strictly Come Dancing 2014 at Elstree Studios on September 2, 2014 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Alison Hammond & Aljaz Skorjanec attend a photocall to launch the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2015 at Birmingham Barclaycard Arena on January 15, 2015 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Richard Stonehouse/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 15: Alison Hammond and Aljaz Skorjanec attends a photocall to launch the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2015 at Birmingham Barclaycard Arena on January 15, 2015 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Tony Woolliscroft/WireImage)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Phillip Schofield, Alison Hammond and Holly Willoughby during "This Morning" Live at NEC Arena on May 18, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 18: Holly Willoughby, Alison Hammond at This Morning Live held at the National Exhibition Centre on May 18, 2017 in Birmingham, England. PHOTOGRAPH BY Graham Stone / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Graham Stone / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 18: Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield, Alison Hammond, Gino D Acampo, Phil Vickery at This Morning Live held at the National Exhibition Centre on May 18, 2017 in Birmingham, England. PHOTOGRAPH BY Graham Stone / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Graham Stone / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 23: (L-R) Chris Steele, Ruth Langsford and Alison Hammond attend the National Television Awards 2018 at The O2 Arena on January 23, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09: Alison Hammond (L) and Holly Willoughby attend the ITV Gala held at the London Palladium on November 9, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Chris Steele (second right), Ruth Langsford (second left), Alison Hammond (left), Alice Beer (third right) with the Daytime Programme Award for This Morning during the 2018 TRIC Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
(left to right) Bryony Blake, Steve Wilson, Dr Zoe Williams, Alison Hammond and Alice Beer arriving for the Bafta tribute event to the ITV1 programme, This Morning at Bafta, central London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Alison Hammond (left) takes a selfie with Tanya Bardsley during Ladies Day of the 2019 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)
Alison Hammond (left) and Tanya Bardsley during Ladies Day of the 2019 Randox Health Grand National Festival at Aintree Racecourse. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Liam Payne and Alison Hammond attend the launch of Wahlburgers UK debut restaurant on May 4, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Wahlburgers)
Presenters Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield and Alison Hammond at 'This Morning Live', at Birmingham NEC. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Stacey Solomon, Alison Hammond, Nadia Sawalha, Brenda Edwards, Kaye Adams, Denise Welch and Kelle Bryan attend the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Sharon Marshall, Eamonn Holmes, Alison Hammond and Alice Beer and crew members from This Morning with the award for Daytime Programme Sponsored by Glen Dimples Heating and Ventilation at the TRIC Awards 2020 held at the Grosvenor Hotel, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
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Hammond asked whether he still had his dog, to which he bluntly replied: "No, dead", prompting awkward laughter in the studio.

Speaking on his Sunday radio show, Norton dismissed the idea she had been impolite.

He said: "Now, I meant to say this yesterday, big up Alison Hammond. She got so much flak for apparently, you know, being insensitive or upsetting me.

"Because I did This Morning and she said, 'Oh, how's your dog?' and I said, 'Oh it's dead'.

"And I did it in a deliberate way to be awkward. And it was going to be funny. It was funny.

"And I think she found it funny and Dermot found it funny. I found it funny."

Norton said some people had "deliberately misrepresented" what happened to be "horrible".

He added: "So I love Alison Hammond and if there was any awkwardness, it was my fault.

"I made it a bad thing. That's the other thing, I feel like people then think I'm kind of heartless.

"I was bereft when the dog went, but now I can use it for comedy."

Saturday morning saw Norton debut on Virgin Radio after departing BBC Radio 2 after a decade.

He has followed in the footsteps of ex-Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans in joining the station, and Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman is replacing him in his former slot.

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