Katie Piper likes to keep her family out of the spotlight. But she decided to make an exception this week, in celebration of her big brother Paul. The star took to Instagram to share a throwback photo of the siblings together, showing them sat side-by-side on a sofa, with Katie smiling at the camera while Paul looks less than impressed.
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"Happy Birthday to my big brother Paul!" Katie 36, captioned the photograph. "Picture evidence that I've been annoying you since the 90s."
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Katie Piper has shared a very rare photo of her big brother, Paul
Katie is one of three children. She was raised in Hampshire by parents, Diane, an infant-school teacher, and David, a barber, along with her brother Paul and sister Suzy. The family are incredibly close. In a 2012 joint interview with the Guardian, Diane described Katie as a child as "quite wilful, headstrong, very independent and made friends wherever she went". "You're being very diplomatic," Katie laughed in response.
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The star pictured with her mother, Diane
Mother and daughter also spoke in length about the horrific acid attack that Katie suffered in March 2008, and how the family coped in the years that followed. They revealed that after Katie left hospital, she had to wear a plastic mask, and her sister Suzy offered to wear one too, in solidarity. Suzy also hid notes all around the house, telling Katie how much she loved her.
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Brother Paul, meanwhile, tracked down Pam Warren, who suffered severe burns in the Paddington rail disaster in 1999, and had also worn a plastic mask, arranging for her to visit them. "That was a big boost for the whole family," Diane noted.
Katie and her husband Richard are parents to two daughters
Diane has proved a huge inspiration to Katie, and the star has said she hopes to live up to her example. "My mum has come to every operation with me," she shared. "She's waited for eight hours, in a side room, with no chair, for me to go into surgery. She's come to foreign countries with me to have treatment, and not been able to speak to anyone. I really hope I can be like her."
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Katie is now a mother herself. In November 2008, she married carpenter Richard Sutton, and together the couple share two daughters – six-year-old Belle, and two-year-old Penelope.