Alison will appear in Jack and the Beanstalk this festive season

Within seconds of sitting down Hammond is cackling with laughter. She thought I'd come from iTunes Birmingham — not I Choose Birmingham — and I've informed her I'd be a lot richer if that were the case. Her trademark belly laugh is just as infectious as I'd hoped and even her journalist wary PR team, who watch on inside the busy hotel room, have afforded themselves a hearty chuckle.

If you want an idea of how in demand Alison is, well, I've been given just seven minutes of interview time with her, three minutes less than I was given for Sylvester Stallone. And if that sounds a bit tight of them, worry not. Seven minutes with the Hammond is better than seventy with Stallone, as you're about to see, answering questions submitted by you, the reader, however daft they might be, with the kind of bonhomie with which she has become synonymous.  

Alison will appear in Jack and the Beanstalk at Birmingham Hippodrome this festive season and tickets are on sale now.   

Alison, as a professional interviewer yourself what advice would you give someone that only has seven minutes?
Be yourself babs! Be yourself. And make it interesting, because they'll be doing loads of these things. Bring cake! The last person brought cake. Did you bring cake?

I haven't brought cake, but I have brought questions from the I Choose Birmingham audience.
Oh so these aren't even your questions! [Howling with laughter already] You've got it easy haven't ya??

Has Harrison Ford been in touch?
He has! I Zoomed him a few months ago and wished him happy birthday.

Have you got his mobile number?
He's got mine, babs! He's got mine. HAHAHAHA!     

What's the best suburb in Birmingham?
Got to be Hockley, hasn't it? Get my patties from there, get my nails and hair done. My waxing too. 

If you had to take Ryan Gosling out for drinks in Brum, where would you take him? 
I'd take him to the Greswolde [Arms] in Knowle, which is my town. Lovely little boozer. Great food. 

Do you wish Birmingham had orange chips, like the Black Country?
I wish it was an option, absolutely, but I actually think Birmingham's chips are better than chips from the Black Country. Controversial, I know. And the curry sauce is better here too. Hang on, how do they do those orange chips? 

Witchcraft. Would you rather take the Bristol Road or the Pershore Road?
[Another enormous laugh] That's a really good question. Pershore Road during the day. Night time, though, you'll fly through on the Bristol Road. You'll have time to pick up a McDonald's on the way.

Did you ever eat at Top Nosh, next door to the old Snobs?
I didn't babs, no.

We better skip this question then.
No, no absolutely not. I want the question. 

Okay, bearing in mind this isn't my question.

It's from a reader.
Spit it out, babs.

Were the owners of Top Nosh rip-off merchants or incredibly astute business people identifying an opportunity to maximise profit based on location and demand?
Genius question and the owners were geniuses, too. I wish I'd popped in now. I went to Snobs though.

Any Snobs stories?
I can't really remember, but I don't drink so that's time and age messing with my memory, not alcohol.

Wait, what? You went to Snobs sober?
Absolutely, I would dance all night long. Loved it. 

A friend of mine once found a bunch of keys in Snobs, so he handed them to lost property. It was only when he got home at 3.30am he realised he'd handed in his own keys.
[Losing her mind with laughter] That's wonderful! I used to work at Bakers at the top of Broad Street, collecting coats — ever go there? That was one of my first ever jobs. Loved it. 

Absolutely. Would you rather get the 11a or the 11c?
Do you know what the 'a' stands for in 11a?

No, it stands for Alison. Next question. 

Pavilions or Pallasades 
I used to work in the Pavilions, too, at Jeffrey Rogers. Loved the Chinese at the food court on the top floor. Got to go with Pavilions. 

Again, not my question, what is the best way to approach Robin Hood Island? 
Cautiously. Very cautiously. 

Meet on the ramp or by the bull?
Ramp, every day of the week.

Final question, can I have a photo with you before I go?
Babs, I'm not dressed like this because it's a Wednesday. Of course you can! HAHAHAHA!!! 

See Alison in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Hippodrome, Dec 16 to Jan 28.