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Billie Piper

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Template:Infobox Celebrity Billie Paul Piper (originally registered as Lianne Piper[1]), born on 22 September 1982, is an English actress. She began her career as a pop singer in her teens, and was well known for her marriage to DJ Chris Evans, but is now best known for portraying Rose Tyler, companion to the Doctor in the television series Doctor Who from 2005 to 2006. Her role in Doctor Who consolidated her status as a household name in the United Kingdom.


Piper's first break in the entertainment world came as a teenager, when she was selected to appear on the Saturday morning kids' television show Scratchy & Co. Piper later landed a role in a television commercial promoting the pop magazine Smash Hits. Her role was to blow a bubble in front of the camera, burst it with her finger and shout "Pop!". A red screen would then come up and the words "Smash hits Magazine. 100% pure pop!" with Piper's voice saying the words. She then had to run up to the camera and dance, then run back. Soon after she was offered a record deal at the age of fifteen, and in 1998 became the youngest artist ever to debut at number one in the UK singles chart with "Because We Want To", released under the artist name "Billie". Her follow-up single "Girlfriend" also debuted at Number One, and her first album, Honey to the B (released immediately afterwards) debuted at Number 14 in the UK album charts. She released two further singles off the album, "She Wants You" and "Honey to the Bee"; both songs debuted at Number 3.

Piper then took a year off to record her second album. She decided to release further records under her full name, Billie Piper. She returned to the Singles Chart in May 2000 with a new, sexier sound. She hit the Number 1 spot with "Day & Night", but her success wasn't to continue. She waited until the following September to release "Something Deep Inside". That reached Number 4 in the UK Singles Chart. In October 2000, Piper released her second album, Walk of Life, which reached Number 14 in the UK Album Chart. The song "Walk of Life", the final single off this album, was released in December 2000 and reached Number 25 in the UK Singles Chart.

In 1999, Piper was nominated for two BRIT Awards and was named Best Female Star at the Smash Hits Poll Winners' party, although at the latter ceremony she was reduced to tears after being viciously booed by jealous fans of Ritchie Neville, member of boyband Five, whom she was dating at the time.

On January 15, 2007, BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles started a campaign to get Honey to the Bee back into the Top 100 on download sales as a way of testing out new chart rules that favour download sales.[2] The campaign was highly successful, with Honey to the Bee re-entering the official UK singles chart at #17, eight years after it was first released.

Film and televisionEdit


In 2003, Piper decided to end her pop career and return to her original ambition, acting. She took acting lessons while living in Los Angeles and, still a high-profile figure, quickly earned roles in the BBC Television series The Canterbury Tales (modern retellings of Chaucer's stories) and the one-off drama Bella and the Boys.

Piper gained very positive reviews for these appearances, critics seemingly feeling that she was a far better actress than she was a singer.

In 2004, she appeared in the films The Calcium Kid, as the romantic interest of Orlando Bloom's character, and Things to do Before You're Thirty. Shortly before starting work on Doctor Who she filmed a starring role in the horror movie Spirit Trap, released in the summer of 2005 to generally poor reviews.

In November 2005, she starred as Hero in a BBC adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, updated for the modern day in a similar manner to the Canterbury Tales series in which she featured, with Hero now being a weather presenter in a television station.

Piper has completed work on two stand-alone television productions. In the first, a BBC adaptation of Philip Pullman's historical novel The Ruby in the Smoke broadcast in December 2006, Piper played protagonist Sally Lockhart, a Victorian orphan. The BBC plans to film all four of Pullman's Sally Lockhart novels, presumably with Piper continuing in the role. In 2007 she appeared as the main character, Fanny Price, in an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park, screened on ITV1.[3] This was her first acting role on television for a broadcaster other than the BBC.

Piper is also attached to appear in an ITV2 adaptation of Belle de Jour, a book detailing the life of a prostitute.[4]

Doctor WhoEdit

File:Billie Piper DrWho 2005 ep0218.jpg

In May 2004, it was announced that Piper was to play the character Rose Tyler, companion to the Doctor in the revived series of Doctor Who, beginning in 2005.

Piper won the Most Popular Actress category at the 2005 and 2006 National Television Awards for her work on Doctor Who.[5] BBC News named Piper as one of its "Faces of the Year" for 2005, primarily due to her success in Doctor Who. At The South Bank Show Awards on 27 January 2006 Piper was awarded The Times Breakthrough Award for her successful transition from singing to acting. In March 2006, the Television and Radio Industries Club named Piper as best new TV talent in their annual Tric awards. In September 2006, Piper was named Best Actress at the TV Quick and TV Choice Awards.[6]

After the completion of the first series of Doctor Who, the British media regularly released conflicting reports about how long Piper would be staying with the programme. In March 2006, she claimed that she would continue on Doctor Who into its third season in 2007;[7] however, on May 10, 2006 she was reported to be considering quitting the series, although she did express an interest in playing a female version of the Doctor in the future (possibly related to a proposed Doctor Who spin-off series about Rose which was later dropped).[8] On June 15, 2006, it was announced by the BBC that she was to depart in the final episode of the second series, "Doomsday";[9] Piper's decision to leave had been taken a year previously, but remained a secret until news of her departure became public.[10]

Rose leaves the show after being trapped on an alternate planet Earth, along with her family and former boyfriend. She has a final scene on a beach with the Doctor, where she tearfully declares her love for him, but their communication is cut off as he starts to reply. Both Piper and head writer Russell T. Davies have mentioned that this move was intended to leave the door open for her return to the role at a later date. Rumours about a return in the 2007 series have, however, been denied in print by Davies. There were, briefly, plans by the BBC to produce a Rose Tyler spin-off starring Piper and following Rose's life after leaving the Doctor, but this was cancelled by Davies.[11]


Piper recently made her stage debut, in a touring production of Christopher Hampton's play Treats which opened in early 2007 in Windsor. Treats will end its tour in the West End, at the Garrick Theatre, starting on 28 February (with previews beginning on 20 February).[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Piper was born in Swindon, Wiltshire, England to Paul Piper and Mandy Kent. Her parents changed her given name from Lianne to Billie three weeks after registering her birth. Piper has one younger brother, Charlie, and two younger sisters, Harley and Ellie.[13]

Piper grew up in Nine Elms, Swindon. She went to Brookfield Primary School in the Shaw, Swindon, and Bradon Forest Secondary School in the village of Purton. She supports Swindon Town football club. Later, she attended The Sylvia Young Theatre School. She is 1.65m tall. She is quoted as saying, "Weight doesn't matter as long as you're happy with yourself."

Piper married businessman, television presenter, and BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans in a secret ceremony on May 2001 in Las Vegas after five months of dating. Their marriage attracted much comment due to the sixteen-year age gap between the two.[14]

In recent articles, Piper has credited Evans with saving her from a particularly difficult time in her life. Their courtship began in May 2000 when Piper was promoting her new single "Day and Night" on Evans' show TFI Friday. Shortly after that appearance, Piper started a vigorous promotion for her album Walk of Life.[citation needed]

After working 16 hour days and having wild nights on the town, Piper developed cystitis. With a new album, Piper had little time to recover. In a bar in Soho, Piper collapsed as a result of a bladder infection that moved up to her kidneys, and started to urinate blood. She was taken to the hospital, and her publicist put out a statement that Piper was suffering from a kidney infection and exhaustion. Piper was too embarrassed to admit to her mother the reason behind her hospital stay. Instead, she told her mother she has taken the morning after pill and had an allergic reaction to it. Shortly after the hospital stay, Piper began taking sleeping pills and would use them to "sleep her way thinner."[citation needed]

In December, Piper released Walk of Life on Evans's radio show. Evans asked, "Why don't we get married and sell the photos to Hello!, then give all the money to charity?" To which Piper replied, "OK, let's." She didn't think he was serious, but she wasn't sure. After the show, Piper and Evans exchanged numbers. To her surprise, Evans called her, and they went out to a pub and "really hit it off". Piper went to bed and the next morning a silver Ferrari was on her doorstep with a note asking for her hand in marriage.[citation needed] Piper broke up with her on-again-off again boyfriend, Ritchie Neville of Five.[citation needed]

During this time, the media blamed Evans for Piper's apparent profligacy, but in fact it was Evans who helped Piper take control of her career. Her relationship with Evans created a rift between Piper and her parents. Subsequently, the Pipers took a large sum of money in return for an exclusive on their daughter. Billie felt betrayed and ended all communication with her parents for a long time. With her marriage to Evans, Piper gave up on anorexia, drugs, and pop stardom. Then, Billie set her sights on becoming an actress. She spent some time in Los Angeles taking acting classes. Since then, she has landed lucrative film and television roles.[citation needed]

In October 2004, the two began a trial separation. In spring of 2005 it was confirmed that she and Evans would be divorcing. The two remain friends, and in November 2005 Piper was a guest on the first episode of her ex-husband's show OFI Sunday. As of 2006 Piper and Evans live two houses away from each other. She still refers to her ex-husband as "Mr. E" (a subtle reference to her "Mystery" marriage).[citation needed]

A story in The Independent on 27 June 2006 stated that Piper has declared that she does not wish to claim any money from Evans' reported £30m wealth or his £540,000 salary from Radio Two. "I'm not taking a penny from him," she told the Radio Times. "I think that's disgusting." Piper also revealed in her interview with Radio Times that she left her pop star career with very little money.[15] The couple have yet to finalize their divorce.[16] Evans has admitted that the age gap was a reason in seeking the divorce.[17]

Piper dated and lived with law student Amadu Sowe from 2004 to 2006.[18] She is now reported to be dating actor Laurence Fox, son of James Fox.[19]

In a 2006 interview with Gay Community News, Piper said, "I fancy women big time... I check them out more than I check men out. Maybe I would want to sleep with a woman."[20]


File:Growing Pains.JPG

Piper signed a six-figure contract with publishers Hodder and Stoughton to write her autobiography, Growing Pains, which was released in the autumn of 2006. Apparently (according to a Top Gear interview), Piper only released the autobiography due to an unauthorised biography coming out.

In recent publication, an excerpt of her autobiography has been printed. Piper divulges about her battle with anorexia that developed after a television presenter called her fat when she was a 16-year-old pop star. Piper began to use laxatives as well as starvation to drop weight. During a US promotional tour, she contemplated suicide as a result of low record sales and self-doubt. She admits to managing five days without food during which time she existed on nothing more than Diet Coke and coffee. She also stated that her relationship with Evans made her ditch her starvation diet and gave her a new zest for life.[21] However, after her split with Evans, Piper returned to anorexia.[22] In the autobiography, Piper said that eating disorders were rife among the girls at her former school the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Young has since spoken out against Piper calling her claim "rubbish" and stating she feels "bewildered" by the allegation.[23]

Awards and nominationsEdit


  • 1999 - Smash Hits Awards: Best Female
  • 2005 - The National Television Awards: Most Popular Actress
  • 2005 - BBC Face Of The Year
  • 2005 - BBC Drama Awards: Best Actress
  • 2006 - The South Bank Show Awards: The Times Breakthrough Award - Rising British Talent
  • 2006 - TV Choice/TV Quick Awards: Best Actress
  • 2006 - The National Television Awards: Most Popular Actress
  • 2006 - BBC Drama Awards: Best Actress
  • 2006 - Tric Awards: Best New Talent
  • 2006 - GQ Magazine Awards: Woman of the Year









Year Single Peak positions
UK[24] IRL[25] SE[26] SW[27] NZ[28]
1998 "Because We Want To" 1 9 8 - 23
"Girlfriend" 1 12 22 - 3
"I Know She Wants You" 3 21 - - 4
1999 "Honey to the Bee" 3 25 - - 5
"Thank ABBA for the Music"1 4 5 17 - 6
2000 "Day & Night" 1 13 52 62 6
"Something Deep Inside" 4 - - 97 18
"Walk of Life" 25 - - 66 -
2007 "Honey to the Bee" 17 n/a n/a n/a n/a

Ranking in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women Edit

  1. 56 in 1999
  2. 86 in 2000
  3. 48 in 2001
  4. 62 in 2005
  5. 11 in 2006
  1. 142 in the 'ten years of FHM's Sexiest Women polls' - 1995-2004.



  1. GRO Birth Registration Index (1982).
  2. Tye, Stephanie (2007-01-17). Billie in the charts again. Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved on 2007-01-17.
  3. Dooks, Brian. "Historic hall to host Austen adaptation", Yorkshire Post, 2006-08-16. Retrieved on 2006-08-16. 
  4. "Piper set to star in TV sex drama", BBC, 2007-02-12. Retrieved on 2007-02-12. 
  5. "Dr Who scores TV awards hat-trick", BBC News,, 2006-10-31. Retrieved on 2006-10-31. 
  6. "Doctor Who lands three TV awards", BBC News, 2006-09-05. Retrieved on 2006-09-05. 
  7. Dermody, Nick. "Third series for Dr Who and Rose", BBC, 2006-03-30. Retrieved on 2006-03-30. 
  8. "Billie Piper to be the first female Doctor Who?", Fametastic, 2006-05-10. Retrieved on 2006-06-02. 
  9. "Billie Piper to leave Doctor Who", BBC, 2006-06-15. Retrieved on 2006-06-15. 
  10. "Cover Girl Billie", BBC, 2006-06-27. Retrieved on 2006-06-27. 
  11. Doctor Who spin-off 'cancelled'. BBC News Online (2006-08-21). Retrieved on 2006-08-21.
  12. Calvi, Nuala. "Piper breaks into the West End with Hampton’s Treats", The Stage, December 22, 2006. 
  13. Drew, Mark. "I'm happy about the wedding", Swindon Advertiser, 2001-06-19. Retrieved on 2006-04-04. 
  14. "Billie Piper and Chris Evans (section)", The Independent, 2005-01-31. Retrieved on 2007-03-08. 
  15. Noah, Sherna. "I won't take cash from Evans split, says Piper", The Scotsman, 2007-06-27. Retrieved on 2007-03-08. 
  16. "If I started thinking too much I'd probably break", The Evening Standard, 2007-03-12. Retrieved on 2007-03-12. 
  17. "Evans: Age gap caused marriage split", 2005-02-28. Retrieved on 2007-03-08. 
  18. "Billie's marriage plans", FemaleFirst, 2006-04-14. Retrieved on 2006-06-02. 
  19. "Billie has a love-ly holiday", The Sun, 2007-01-11. Retrieved on 2007-01-11. 
  20. "Billie wants a woman", Gay Community News, 2006-05-13. Retrieved on 2006-06-02. 
  21. "Doctor Who star signs book deal", BBC, 2006-05-03. Retrieved on 2006-05-06. 
  22. Take a Girl Like You
  23. Ex teacher calls Piper a liar
  24. Discography. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
  25. Searchable Database. The Irish Charts - All There is to Know. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
  26. The Swedish Charts Portal. Billie Piper Discography. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
  27. The Official Swiss Charts. Billie Piper Discography. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
  28. The New Zealand Charts Portal. Billie Piper Discography. Retrieved March 27, 2007.

External linksEdit

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