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Biography #2

Billie Piper is a British actress who started her career as a pop singer in her teens. Her parents registered her given name as Leanne for three weeks, but changed their minds. Billie Piper is the daughter of British actor Paul Piper.

After being spotted in a television advert while still at stage school, she was offered a record deal at the age of just fifteen, and in 1998 became the youngest ever female solo artist to top the UK singles chart with Because We Want To. Her follow-up single Girlfriend also d├ębuted at Number One, and several other successful singles and two albums followed. 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 Richie Neville, member of boyband Five, whom she was dating at the time.

She switched back to her original ambition of acting in 2003 after the self-made decision to end her pop career. Still a high-profile figure, she 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. Despite the negative reaction usually given to singers who attempt to act, 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 girlfriend of Orlando Bloom's character, and Things to do Before You're Thirty. In May 2004 it was announced she was to play the character Rose Tyler, companion to the Doctor in the 2005 series of Doctor Who. She has also recently finished filming a starring role in the horror movie Spirit Trap, also due for release in 2005. She is also due to star 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 is married to businessman and former television presenter Chris Evans. Their 2001 marriage attracted much comment due to the sixteen-year age gap between the two. In October 2004, the two began a trial separation. In spring of 2005 it was confirmed that she and Evans will be divorcing.

The BBC has announced that Piper will return for the 2006 series of Doctor Who, although Dreamwatch magazine reported in its May 21, 2005 issue that her agent stated she will leave the programme partway through the season, only appearing for three to seven episodes. However, other sources suggested that, after negotiation, she had agreed to stay for the whole series.

Article text released under CC-BY-SA. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Billie Piper" (06-Jul-2005)