What happened to Katie Piper, who's the Strictly star’s husband and how did she survive her acid attack?

Katie Piper gave birth at the end of 2017 and was announced as the first Strictly Come Dancing 2018 contestant. Here's all you need to know about her tale of overcoming adversity.

Who is Katie Piper?

Katie was born in October 1983 to parents David and Diane and lived in Andover, Hampshire, where she trained as a beautician after leaving school.

Shortly afterwards, she began modelling, taking part in various shoots for national newspapers and was runner-up of the 2006 Miss Winchester beauty pageant.

Eventually, she moved to London and also got work as a presenter on several digital TV programmes.

However, in March 2008, she fell victim to an acid attack, with the sulphuric acid leaving her face severely burned.

But she hasn't let the attack define her, and has since gone on to become a published author and a TV presenter.

How was Katie Piper attacked?

In February 2008, Katie started a relationship with David Lynch after the pair began messaging on Facebook.

But just two weeks into their romance, Katie started having doubts and he later attacked her in a London hotel room.

Katie then went back to her flat in Golders Green and two days later, Lynch demanded she go to a nearby internet cafe.

However, it was a trap and Lynch had arranged for accomplice Stefan Sylvestre to wait outside her flat and throw sulphuric acid into her face.

Katie was rushed to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for emergency treatment as the acid had severely burned her face and blinded her in her left eye.

She was put in an induced coma for 12 days and had to undergo skin graft procedures.

She also had to wear a plastic face mask for up to 23 hours a day and in total has had 40 operations to treat her burns.

Just a year after the attack, the model then launched the Katie Piper Foundation to campaign for more specialist help for burns victims.

What happened to Katie Piper's attackers?The attack was caught on CCTV and shortly after Sylvestre, who threw the acid at Katie, was arrested.

Later Lynch was arrested and the pair were both handed life sentences.

In 2015, Sylvestre went up for parole but his plea to be released from jail was dismissed.

Recently, his plea to the parole board received a positive response despite Katie's insistence.

The parole board explained: "He displayed sympathy for the victim and expressed remorse."

Since then, Strictly bosses have been working to make sure Katie is safe at all times in preparation for the release of her attacker.

When was Katie confirmed for Strictly?

Katie was announced as the first official contestant on Strictly Come Dancing 2018.

She appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning to announce she would be taking part.

Speaking on the programme, she said: "It’s been so hard to keep a secret. I’ve known for quite a while and it’s been really hard with colleagues saying, ‘I’m getting married in October, I’d love you to be there.’

What does Katie Piper do now?

Since writing her autobiography, Katie has become a regular on programmes such as This Morning and is often a panellist on Loose Women.

She also presented the Channel 4 show Bodyshockers and Never Seen a Doctor.

Last year, the inspirational star launched her own Channel 4 show called Face to Face, where she met a host of other skin condition sufferers.

She is now taking her story to the stage.

This year, she will touring the country with her theatre show What's In My Head to share her inspirational story – you can get tickets here.

She is also currently working on a parenting book.

Who are her husband and family?

Katie Piper gave birth to her first child, Belle Elizabeth, in March 2014, and in December that year announced her engagement to Richard James Sutton.

She married the carpenter and builder in November 2015.

Two years later, she announced that she was pregnant again, and gave birth to the couple's second daughter, Penelope, in December 2017.

Katie aims to be open and honest with her daughters and tells her eldest the truth about her attack.

She told the Sunday People’s Love Sunday ­magazine: “She mainly asks about my hands.

“I just tell her I was burnt when I was younger, it did hurt, but it doesn’t now.

“All she really says is, ‘Be careful of your other hand’ when I’m near the oven. But if she asks how I was burnt, I’ll tell her the truth.”

When is Strictly Come Dancing on BBC One?

Strictly Come Dancing kicked off with the launch show on September 8, 2018.

The new dancing couples took a two-week break to rehearse before the live show's return on September 22.

For those that miss an episode, they will be made available on the iPlayer.

This year's judging panel consists of Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Craig Revel Horwood and Darcey Bussell.

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