I JOINED STRICTLY TO FEEL SEXIER AND FREER AND WORK ON LETTING GO
‘I’ve been in positions where I couldn’t exercise, so when I can be free with my body and run and go to the gym and dance, I never take that for granted.’ Having her daughters, Belle, four, and Penelope, 10 months, has made her even more determined not to hold herself back, so they grow up seeing what’s possible.
She’s also passionate about being ‘truthful about what I put out there’ in a world in which we’re more used to seeing enhanced images than real ones. She doesn’t digitally alter the images she posts on social media because, she says, ‘I want to be open and transparent.’
Like increasing numbers of women, she’s had enough of Insta-fakeness. ‘I had a big detox a couple of months ago where I unfollowed loads of people on Instagram when I realised I was following too many artificial pages,’ she says. ‘Now I follow a lot of activists, mum bloggers, plus-size models and disability campaigners, so every day my feed is filled with real people doing important things. It’s a more rounded view of what’s really happening out there.’
This week, she’s launching a podcast called Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People, in which she interviews people who’ve rebuilt their lives after life-changing events. ‘People like that come up to me in restaurants or in the street and tell me phenomenal things. So I decided to do a podcast about their stories, the emotions, the challenges and their advice about how to move on.’
She hopes her Strictly journey continues. ‘I joined because I wanted to feel sexier and freer and work on letting go,’ she says. ‘I think it’s going to be good for me.’ ‘ Strictly Come Dancing’ is on Saturdays and Sundays on BBC One
Above and below: Katie with dance partner Gorka Marquez. Right, from top: Villanelle in a dress by Molly Goddard; the designer; actor Jodie Comer at Molly Goddard’s LFW show last month, wearing one of her designs