Katie Piper: ‘It can be judgemental’ Star speaks out on Strictly Come Dancing experience

Katie Piper, 35, has addressed Strictly Come Dancing 2019 and what it is really like taking part in the BBC competition, after her own stint alongside Gorka Marquez.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, the inspirational star addressed her experience on the BBC show last year and admitted who she’s rooting for.

“I’m getting behind Saffron [Barker],” she said.

“I’ve met her a few times, she’s very down to earth and put herself out there on her YouTube channel.”

She reminds me of a younger version of me, blonde and bubbly. She’s quite relatable in that way

Katie Piper

Katie continued: “She’s young as well – Strictly can be quite judgemental, it’s a big thing to go on but I feel like she’s just letting go and having fun.”

The inspirational speaker likened the blonde YouTube star who is partnered with AJ Pritchard, to a younger version of herself.

“She reminds me of a younger version of me, blonde and bubbly. She’s quite relatable in that way.”

Katie went on to state that it was nice to do something different to her usual work: “For me it was different to my normal career.

“Some of my stuff is hard hitting, it’s not like I can go home and switch off and go for a run.

“Strictly is spray tans and b***hing in the canteen about someone’s Waltz – it’s nice and light hearted and a bit of fun for a change!” she laughed.

Reflecting on her own experience, Katie suggested some tips for this year’s contestants: “On Saturday’s when you’re on the ballroom floor, concentrate on you and your partner and the song.

“You have to forget about the 13.5 million people watching you and picking you apart on Twitter later but you need to zone in!” she joked.

Katie has recently been announced as part of the Pantene Power Squad alongside UK transgender haircare ambassador Paris Lees and champion boxer Ramla Ali. All three women have unique stories about how their hair has played a pivotal role in their personal evolution.

“I feel really proud to be part of something that’s so authentic, they’ve got such a big platform and they’ve chosen to use it in such a great way,” she explained.

“Everyone knows my journey with what happened to me and for a long time the main communitive point of us all is our face and mine was in a mask.”

“My hair was my tool to the world and I lost a lot of it. A lot of it was shaved off and as it started to come back it was the main thing in my kit that I pulled upon to be me again and to give out messages to the world.”

The former beauty model became a prominent figure after a horrific acid attack in 2008 left her facially scarred and partially blind.

“When Pantene first started talking to me I thought, well they’ll never use me in it, because I don’t fit the classic shampoo advert,” she recalled.

“When I look back the beauty industry is giving out lots of different messages over the past 10-15 years and I think Pantene are really trailblazing working with not just me but Paris Lees and Ramla Ali in that we see tokenisms in the beauty industry.”

“I am authentically me, I’m not photoshopped, I’m not edited, I’m not bleached out and I’m not perfect.”

“I don’t think the advert is striving for that and I think it’s a strong message, it’s encouraging in the beauty world.”

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