Katie Piper is making her live debut on Stricty Come Dancing tonight, and she's one of HELLO!'s family of favourite celebrities. As we tune in to watch her take to the dance floor, we're throwing back to New Year, when she welcomed a precious new addition to her family – her newborn baby girl, Penelope Diane.
Introducing the adorable tot to the world in an exclusive interview and photo-shoot with HELLO!, the 34-year-old TV presenter reveals: “She’s an angel and so chilled out we sometimes forget she’s there.” Katie, who survived an acid attack that left her permanently scarred, had once feared motherhood was a blessing she would never experience, having taken medication during her recovery that can affect fertility. “There was a time when I’d resigned myself to never having a family of my own,” she tells the magazine. “With Penelope, we were trying for over a year and a half.”
The author and charity campaigner, who also has a three-year-old daughter Belle with her husband Richard ‘Richie’ Sutton, revealed how they prepared their eldest daughter to meet her baby sister by introducing her by name while she was still in the womb.
“It was a name we’d had in mind for Belle and I’ve always liked it,” Katie tells HELLO!. “We started referring to her as Penelope, even telling Belle because we figured it made the experience all the more real for her. We were amazed when she didn’t let the cat out of the bag because she’s such a chatterbox.” The infant’s middle name, Diane, is after Katie’s mum, who has been Katie’s rock through her darkest times and who has herself been battling cancer.
Katie’s says the bond between Penelope and her big sister Belle has begun to grow already. “Belle is such a great little helper, bringing me nappies and asking lots of questions,” she says. Although her husband Richie has always been keen to have a son, the devoted mum insists that their family unit is now complete.
“I feel completely fulfilled having our two girls and think they’re enough,” she says. “If anything did change, I think we would adopt. It’s something Richie and I have talked about a lot and he’s always been open to that.”
To see more of Katie with her baby daughter Penelope, pick up the latest copy of HELLO! magazine.