Billie Piper: Growing Pains
A review of the book

Complete 2nd Series
Now available to order online

Signed Hardcover
Audio CD
While autobiographies probably don't interest most Doctor Who fans unless they're about the actor who played the Doctor and concentrate on his years in the show, I believe you'll find this a fascinating lesson on the music industry.

I'm not going to go into detail about how the thickness of the performed text has any relationship to redundancy codes etc but I will say that this book is a fascinating account of Billy Piper's life covering everything up to and including 2006.

I was impressed to find an autobiography that was so detailed, full of life, raw and up-to-date. She even talked about Amadu, who was still her boyfriend in the book. Yes, it was up-to-date until December 2006.

Now we know that Billie has moved on to someone new so another book will probably be due in a few years.

I could barely put this book down, pouring through the details of the life of a singer. In fact Billie's singing career takes up most of the book.

If your child wants to get into the music industry, make sure they read Growing Pains first.

Act one goes into detail about Billie's trials as she throws herself wholeheartedly into the music business. Signing the contract, the first recording, the lifestyle etc.

Act Two goes back to her beginnings and her primary school and early high school life. Exploring cities for the first time, her male school friend's fascination with Lynx Africa, her pursuit of older guys even though she was usually far to young for them to be able to do anything legally, dance classes and her holidays.

Then Act Three continues her music career where she left off in Act One, her falling in love with Chris Evans and the major changes in herself as she grows up. This is the Act that also deals with her anorexia problem and her disbelief in her own singing abilities. Probably the most shocking of the sections in the book. But it also covers a few things that will interest single men. If you want to get Billie's attention, send her something even better than a Ferrari full of red roses.

Act Four covers her marriage, her two years out of the spotlight and her decision to move on. This period of her life was definitely a dream time and a life that most people would kill to have.

Act Five goes into details about her time as an actor and does describe her time in Doctor Who from pages 304 to 343.

That's right. If you bought this book thinking you would be reading a huge amount about Billie's life on Doctor Who, uh uh. Just 39 pages of description, but there are also 11 really nice photos of her time on the programme.

Having said that, if you are just fascinated by Billie, and most Doctor Who fans are, then you'll find this book worth the read. This book has a lot of photos from childhood to 2006 which punctuate her stories and gives further understanding of her character.

I was especially disturbed by the details of the death threats and insults she received from a crazy person, yet Billie just brushed it off and even included one of the disturbingly doctored photos that the woman had sent her.

I'm not really big on autobiographies. I haven't even read Tom Baker's yet. But I like to read books that I can learn from and I learnt a lot from Growing Pains by Billie Piper. I hope you find it as interesting.

To sum up Billie I will quote from Chris Evans. I believe it is a quality that Russell T Davies was looking for in a companion as he has gone for the same quality in Freema Agyeman. In fact, I believe you could say this about most of the actresses to play the companion in Doctor Who.

"Billie has no bad in her, none at all. Bad has passed her by. It took one look at her and decided to move on."

9 out of 10

Return to the New Series News Page | Comment about this review in the forum or via the Dr Who blog