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I Can't Find Time For Love

IF Doctor Who sidekick Billie Piper had a real-life time-travelling Tardis, she'd probably spend some more time with her boyfriend. Poor old Amadu Sowe. His gorgeous girlfriend spends nine months of the year in Cardiff filming one of Britain's most popular TV shows with a desirable young actor, and he sees her about as often as the viewing public will do - once a week. But his loss is our gain as the former wild child throws her energy into her much-loved portrayal of sidekick Rose Tyler, back on our screens on Saturday with the new Doctor, David Tennant.  "I see David more than I see my family and my boyfriend," confesses the 23-year-old beauty.
"Amadu visits me quite a lot - not as much as I'd like - but enough. This year I'm in a hotel with room service every night. We work 12 to 13-hour days, so there's not much chance to do anything after work." And her weekends are little different. There are no wild parties for her and Amadu when she returns to the London flat they share.
"I just sit on the sofa for two days. I don't really want to talk to anyone at the weekends. I like to sit in my flat and be completely selfish. I watch TV, eat far too much and drink some beers." Law student Amadu, 27, must also put up with her popping over the road to see multimillionaire ex-husband Chris Evans for coffee.
"He's very good because Chris and I are pretty much inseparable and live opposite each other. It's an extraordinary situation that I don't expect anyone else to understand. "I never understood how people could stay friends after a break-up, but now I completely do. "I said to Amadu when we first started going out that Chris and I had this very special thing and I was never going to give it up so he would have to accept it. Chris shaped me, made me the way I am. I am so grateful to him."
Billie's transformation was remarkable. The daughter of a Swindon builder, she left home for stage school at 13, got a record deal then went to No. 1 with Because We Want To at 15. Three years later she met Evans. He proposed live on air, backing it up with the gift of a Ferrari. One whirlwind romance and a Las Vegas wedding later, she joined him on a daily ritual of heavy drinking in London, LA and his country estate. Her parents, who were not told about the ceremony, despaired, and she's only recently back on speaking terms with her dad. The reconciliation came after Billie changed her life for a second time. Out went the week-long benders as she embraced her father's hard-work ethic. Her parents are now full of pride.
It is clear that at such a young age but with so much behind her, Billie is loving the chance to shine in Doctor Who. "My life has naturally moved on," she says. "It's all cool and I'm taking everything in my stride. "It's an exciting time for me to be alive and I am doing something that I have wanted to do since I was a kid. That means so much to me and I can't quite believe it is happening. "I'm loving it. The fact that I am working as an actress every day makes me really happy."
The only blot in the past year was the snub by Bafta judges for her performance as Rose. She was on tenterhooks when the nominations were announced and was devastated when she was overlooked. "I would be lying if I said it didn't mean anything - it does. It's a really wonderful event and it's great to be acknowledged and recognised." But steeling herself, she adds: "I'm 23 so I've got the rest of my life to do it."
The brush-off came just months after she was honoured at the National TV Awards with the award for Best Actress. "I was shaking like a leaf and had to have a word with myself on the way to the stage because I thought I was going to cry, which would have been too embarrassing. "It was a brilliant night but I spent the whole evening in shock, chewing my nails."
As the Daily Mirror revealed last year, Billie has told the BBC she is quitting to concentrate on new TV projects. She will make an appearance in the third series next year but bow out early on. Bosses are seeking a new companion for Tennant, who took over from Christopher Eccleston at Christmas.
Last series she snogged the old Doctor and on Saturday she wastes no time getting to grips with Tennant. "I couldn't wait to kiss him," she giggled. "We didn't do tongues because we were eating egg and cress sandwiches. It was quick so we only got three goes at it. "Chris and David are different in a lot of ways. They are different kissers but I had a longer kiss with David. They were more intense with David, too. It was quite sexy," she laughs. "He's got nice lips. It was definitely fun! "Fortunately we get on and can have a laugh. We needed to as we were together for nine months in quite an intense way - thrown together on 13-hour days. I feel like I have made a friend for life."
But despite the snogs, Billie is keen Rose and the Doctor don't get together. She said: "You want it to happen but at the same time you, don't. It's like Ross and Rachel in Friends. You want them to get it on but you like the anticipation."
Billie's star is definitely on the rise. And this summer she'll be' filming new BBC drama Ruby In The Smoke. But despite all the success, she has no plans to go to Hollywood. She said: "I'm loving what's going on here. There's some great telly out and some really smart writers. I haven't even got an LA agent."
There are no clues as to how Rose will leave but there is a sensational ending to the series, in an instalment called Doomsday. Billie hinted that it could be the beginning of the end for her character: "It's worth waiting for, it's a real cliff-hanger."
And she believes the new series is scarier than the previous one. In episode one thousands of zombies with horrific boils converge on them in a futuristic hospital run by feline nuns. And a later one touches on some really big issues. Billie says: "It deals with the Devil and that's quite spooky. It's really dark, in a good way, and very thought-provoking. "The writer Russell T Davies has moved the scripts on - they are really terrifying."
Luckily, not all the filming left her feeling frightened. One episode - Love And Monsters - sees comedian Peter Kay play a baddie, and Billie found it tough keeping a straight face. "I actually had to inflict pain on myself with pinches to stop from laughing. He's brilliant but he destroyed lots of scenes!"
There have been nice off-screen moments, with the public keen to show their love. "We got sent some little dalek cakes from one of the residents on the street where we filmed. That was lovely. But then I have had some ladies' knickers in the post." Bizarre gifts aside, it looks like Billie has secured her place in the nation's hearts.
Source: The Daily Mirror