Billie Piper compares Chris Evans marriage to being at university: ‘Sort of reckless, but you’re learning a lot'

Roisin O'Connor
·2-min read
Chris Evans and Billie Piper shortly after their wedding in Las Vegas (Rex Features)
Chris Evans and Billie Piper shortly after their wedding in Las Vegas (Rex Features)

Billie Piper has spoken about escaping the “dark place” she found herself in as she was moving away from her career as a pop star.

Speaking to her former Doctor Who co-star David Tennant on his podcast, Piper discussed everything from her new series I Hate Suzie to her marriage to radio host and presenter Chris Evans.

“I would say I was in a dark place and just ready to have a bit of a normal life, whatever that meant for me,” Piper said.

“I was just so tired. If I'm honest, I was really burnt out. I also wanted to have some freedom. I wanted to stay at home and learn how to cook properly and do what felt like healing things. Also, I went and got completely hammered for three years with Chris Evans.”

Piper said that, in contrast to the way she was portrayed in the tabloid press, she embraced the freedom she felt in not “looking completely groomed and manicured within an inch of my life”.

“I can tell you I was completely unhappy and starving and dark on the inside,” she said. “And I haven't brushed my hair since... I really have rejected that stuff.”

Tennant then asked her about the public reaction to Piper’s marriage to Evans, when she was 18 at the time and he was 35, after the couple had been dating for six months.

“The two of you sort of dropped out of life, didn't you?” he observed. “It was like tabloid catnip. They couldn't believe that this young girl and this slightly older man could really be having this wonderful time. But for you, it was a purely positive experience.“

“We had a really amazing time together, you know?” Piper responded. “I imagine it's what your uni years feel like. Sort of reckless, but you're learning a lot. It was an incredible time and not to undermine our relationship because we also had a very loving relationship. It wasn't just, oh we're getting, going out, getting f***ed. We had a very caring, loving relationship.”

Piper received rave reviews for her performance in I Hate Suzie, which follows a pop star whose life collapses after a phone hack leaks intimate photos of her online.

“Piper has a rare gift for eliciting sympathy, even as Suzie Pickles keeps making new mistakes in her effort to disguise the old ones,” The Independent’s four-star review read.

“What emerges is a black-comedy-horror about female friendship, modern fame, and the impossibility of true privacy in a world where everyone has an online video camera in their pockets.”

The series was created by Piper with British playwright Lucy Prebble. The pair had previously worked together on Prebble’s award-winning play The Effect and the hit TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

You can listen to the full podcast with David Tennant here.

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