Celebrity Interview - August/September 21
The Pipes Of Peace
Katie Piper’s Incredible Story
It’s fair to say Katie Piper was well on her way towards a life, and a career, of her dreams. The Hampshire-born beautician had not long moved to London – she was happy, blessed with natural beauty, had a burgeoning social life, and a loving family back home.
Aged 25, and on 31st March 2008, all that changed in a fraction of a second.
Two days after enduring a vicious and sustained sexual assault from jilted lover Daniel Lynch at a hotel in Bayswater, she was lured to an internet café, where she was confronted by an accomplice of the martial arts expert, who threw sulphuric acid over her.
“You never know what is around the corner in life,” begins Katie, who has had over 400 operations to reconstruct her face. “Yet for every bad day there is the potential of a good one to follow.”
Speaking about the ‘sliding doors’ moment that befell the former Strictly star and BAFTA-nominated documentary-maker, she says, “What I went through I would never wish on anyone, and there is no thing or reward at the end of it that will take away the hurt, even if there is, of course, something very meaningful that has come out of it.”
That meaningful bi-product is that Katie has forged a brilliant career in light entertainment and, of course, she is someone who works tirelessly to help others break free from domestic violence.
Most recently, she has been seen as a new feature presenter on the BBC’s flagship faith programme Songs of Praise.
“I have had dark days, but each has been brightened by some truly incredible people,” says Piper, who in 2015 married carpenter Richard Sutton. “Resilience is one of my favourite words, and it is a quality that lies in each and every one of us.
“Perhaps it’s unfortunate that for many people, myself included, we don’t realise that inherent strength until it’s the only choice we have to find it; when we’re forced into a situation and acceptance is all we have. That’s when we dig deep and we find what I would call that ‘human spirit’. It’s something incredibly strong and it will get us through some of the toughest times, if we allow it.”
Katie and Richard have two daughters together – Belle, aged seven, and three year old Penelope. The writer and broadcaster is the ultimate exemplar for positivity, perseverance, trusting the mechanics of life, and passing on hope.
“In life, if you feel safe in the knowledge that someone is looking out for you; or if you can sleep soundly at night knowing you’ve done a good deed; or if you know your loved ones are fine and comfortable, then that’s got to be good.”