Billie Piper says she was ‘extremely lonely’ and ‘unbelievably unsafe’ as a teenage pop star

Actor and singer moved into a flat on her own when she was just 15

Isobel Lewis
Monday 10 May 2021 08:49
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Trailer for Billie Piper satire: I Hate Suzie

Billie Piper has recalled feeling ‘extremely desperate and lonely’ while working as a 15-year-old pop star.

The actor first rose to fame in 1998 with the song “Because We Want To”, the track earning her the title of youngest female artist to top the UK charts with her debut.

Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs on Sunday (9 May), Piper said that she had felt “desperate” to get out of the “small town environment” of her Swindon home as a teenager.

However, having moved into a hotel at the age of 14 and one year later into a London flat on her own, the I Hate Suzie star admitted to struggling with finding fame overnight.

“At the time, it felt really exciting and liberating and satisfied me with this quest to be a grown-up. It also felt extremely desperate and lonely sometimes,” she told Lauren Laverne.

“I was seeing and experiencing a lot of life at a very young age. Now, when I look back at it now that I have my own children, it seems unbelievably unsafe and plays in unhealthily to my parenting.”

Piper said that her marriage to radio DJ Chris Evans in 2001, when she was 18, had played a large part in her ability to “heal”.

Piper in 1998

“When I got with Chris I went around the world with him and felt loved,” she said. “I stopped caring, and that was really integral to me healing and pursuing acting.”

The Doctor Who star has previously opened up about suffering mental health issues as a young performer, revealing in a recent interview how working 18-hour days left her with a “lack of control” that eventually led to an eating disorder.

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