In an extract about her weight from her upcoming autobiography You’ve Got To Laugh, published in The Sun, Alison explained she had the procedure in 2007 after a “horrible, shameful moment” during an interview with Matt Damon.
“Halfway through the interview, something awful and embarrassing happened,” the former Big Brother housemate wrote.
“My size and weight went against me and suddenly the side of the chair broke.”
“I was mortified,” she continued. “I wanted the world to swallow me.
“‘Are you OK?’ he asked. He was very nice about it. ‘Let’s get you another chair’. I’m a Black woman, but I went bright red in the face.
“‘Don’t worry about it,’ I said, and I ripped the arm off the chair and flung it on to the floor. That made him laugh and, instead of bursting into tears, which would have been the natural thing to do, I started laughing as well and we carried on with the interview.”
Despite laughing off the incident in the moment, Alison requested that the clip not be included in the final interview, and decided shortly afterwards to have a gastric band operation.
However, following the op, Alison began experiencing complications and “couldn’t keep anything down”, and after two years eventually decided to have the procedure reversed.
She recalled: “It was really distressing. I felt as if my body was rejecting the foreign entity inside me and I began to get ill.”
“Normally it takes 15 minutes to remove a gastric band, but it took my surgeon an hour and a half because scar tissue had grown around mine so thickly that it was squeezing my stomach shut to the point where I couldn’t eat anything,” Alison added. “Which was why I was always being sick.”
On her self-image now, Alison wrote: “I may be up and down with my feelings when it comes to weight, but I mean it when I say that I love being big.
“I love myself and I love my largeness; I don’t look in the mirror and think, ‘Oh, no, I’m so fat’. I look in the mirror and think, ‘I’m beautiful, man. I look so good. I look fire’.”
After becoming a This Morning staple for her celebrity interviews and (often chaotic) roving reporting segments, Alison was eventually offered a new role with the show this year, when she began presenting every Friday with Dermot O’Leary.
Last week, Alison admitted that she initially turned ITV down when they offered her the role, but she eventually changed her mind.
Alison’s new book You’ve Got To Laugh is published on 14 October.