Billie Piper is an English actress and former singer. In the time she has had a career in entertainment, she has managed to rack up an impressively diverse resume across music, television dramas, audio plays and theatre. In this article, we highlight some of the best moments from her life and career.
Known mononymously as Billie until her second album, Piper was born on 22 September 1982 in Swindon, Wiltshire, England. Her career in music began in 1998, at age 15, with the release of her debut single Because We Want To. Prior to this, she had appeared in soft-drink commercials for American TV before appearing as an extra in the 1996 film Evita, starring Madonna. She had also appeared on the Saturday-morning children’s television show Scratchy & Co and landed a role in a television commercial promoting the pop magazine Smash Hits. She would go on to quit music in 2003 to focus on her acting career.
Becoming The Youngest Female Singer To Enter the UK Singles Chart at Number One
What better way to start off Billie Piper’s iconic moments than with the release of her debut single Because We Want To. Written and produced for her debut album Honey To The B, the song was released on 29 June 1998 and entered the UK Singles Chart at number one in July 1998, making her the youngest artist to debut at number one, at age 15. The song also went on to reach the top 10 in Ireland, New Zealand and Sweden.
Having The Official Theme Song For The 1999 Women’s World Cup
The 1999 Women’s World Cup, hosted in the United States, was the most successful FIFA Women’s World Cup in terms of attendance, television ratings, and public interest. Following the success of the first two editions of the Women’s World Cup, the United States won the bid to host the third edition. As well Because We Want To picked as the official song, Billie performed at the opening ceremony of the tournament alongside ‘N Sync and B*Witched.
Appearing On Doctor Who
Launched in 1963 by the BBC and considered a significant part of popular culture in Britain, Doctor Who is the longest-running science fiction television series in the world as well as the most successful science-fiction series of all time. Piper appears on the show for 34 episodes between 2005 and 2010, including a special in 2010. She has received wide-reaching praise for her performance and has won numerous awards including The Times Breakthrough Award for her successful transition from singing to acting.
She Got Married In A Secret Ceremony
Piper got married to Chris Evans, an English television presenter in a secret ceremony at a church in Paradise, Nevada on 6 May 2001 after six months of dating. The marriage turned out to be a high-profile marriage, attracting much comment as a result of the couple’s age difference. She was 18 and Evans was 35. The couple split when she was 21 and divorced in 2007, but remain close friends. She has gone on to hail their relationship as a happy experience.
Re-Entering The Official UK Singles Chart 4 Years After Quitting Music
In January 2007, BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles started an unlikely campaign to get “Honey to the Bee”, the title track for Piper’s debut album, back into the top 100 on download sales as a way of testing out the new ways the charts were counted to include downloads. This campaign proved to be successful with the song re-entering the official UK singles chart, eight years after it was first released.
Captivating Audiences in Reasons to Be Pretty
Running from November 2011 to January 2012, Piper played Carly in the UK premiere of Reasons to Be Pretty, a play written by Neil LaBute. The play centres on four young working-class friends and lovers who become increasingly dissatisfied with their dead-end lives and each other. Piper was described by BBC Radio 4 as “fantastic, completely brilliant. Her performance is so convincing and moving, an absolutely terrific performance”. The Jewish Chronicle remarked that “no actor can cry more convincingly than Piper”.
Making Her Directorial Debut
In 2019, Piper made her debut as a director with Rare Beasts, a British psychological romantic drama film about a nihilistic single mother with a deeply disturbed son, who falls in love with a man with rage issues. Piper would go on to write, direct and star as the film’s lead character. The film received mixed reviews from viewers and critics.
Playing Hannah Baxter
Between September 2007 and March 2011, Piper starred as Hannah Baxter, the lead character and protagonist of the British drama television series, Secret Diary of a Call Girl. The series was based on the real-life published memoirs of former London call girl Dr Brooke Magnanti, who wrote under the pseudonym Belle de Jour. Secret Diary of a Call Girl revolves around the life of a young woman who lives a secret life as a call girl.
Winning All Of The Available Best Actress Awards For One Performance
In 2016, Billie Piper starred in an adaptation of Federico García Lorca‘s 1934 play Yerma. The play received critical acclaim, especially for her performance. She was described as “earth-quaking” by The Guardian and “a generation’s greatest performance” by The Stage. For her performance, she won all six “Best Actress” awards. She is the only actor to have ever done this, making it one of the most acclaimed and awarded stage performances in British theatre history.
Fulfilling Her Childhood Dream
After the incredible success of Yerma in Britain, Piper went on to fulfil her childhood dream and took the show for a sell-out run in New York. Her performance left critics in America equally spellbound. The New York Times proclaimed her “an unconditional victory” and Vogue described her as “one of the finest talents of her generation”.