Presenter Katie Piper unveiled as first 2018 Strictly contestant
Presenter and campaigner Katie Piper has been revealed as the first star to be taking part in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
The 34-year-old, who survived an acid attack 10 years ago, was unveiled on BBC Breakfast as the first contestant.
She said: “For me, it’s really out of my comfort zone and it’s nothing like I’ve ever done before, so I was really worried – will I be the first person to go home?”
Piper said that keeping it a secret was difficult, and added: “The only person I told was my husband, through text message, and he thought I was joking.”
She said she would like to be partnered with professional dancer Giovanni Pernice, but she is concerned that she has no natural rhythm.
She said: “I like having fun and music and parties, but dance-wise, I went to a musical on Thursday with my friend, and he noted that I wasn’t even clapping in time, so in terms of rhythm, I don’t know how well that’s going to go.”
In March 2008, Piper was the victim of an acid attack in an assault that was arranged by her former partner.
She was left partially blind, with severe scarring to her face, chest, neck, arm and hands, after sulphuric acid was thrown in her face.
Now a TV presenter, author and campaigner, who supports acid attack survivors through her charity the Katie Piper Foundation, she has undergone more than 250 operations over the past decade.
The identity of the remaining contestants on this year’s series of the dancing competition will be revealed over the coming days.
Other stars tipped to be donning their dancing shoes for the show this year include Pussycat Dolls singer Ashley Roberts, radio host Vick Hope and Steps star Faye Tozer.
The new series, believed to be starting in early September, will see presenters Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman return, along with judges Shirley Ballas, Bruno Tonioli, Dame Darcey Bussell and Craig Revel Horwood.
At the end of July, the dancers for this year’s series, including Anton Du Beke, Oti Mabuse, Pasha Kovalev and Karen Clifton, started work in the dance studio.
Strictly Come Dancing will return to BBC One in the autumn.