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She's 15, An Unknown From Swindon And No.1 In The Charts

She's 15, an unknown from Swindon.. and she's No1 in charts.

By IAN MILLER. 6 July 1998 (c) 1998 Mirror Group Ltd

AN UNKNOWN songbird from Swindon has stormed to the top of the charts with her first single - at the age of 15.

Billie Piper's Because We Want To has gone straight in at No1 to topple Three Lions '98 and banish memories of England's World Cup failure.

Pre-release orders for Billie's single from record buyers - many as young as seven or eight - guaranteed it the top spot.

Delighted Billie said: "I've always wanted to be famous for as long as I can remember."

But only weeks ago she admitted: "Up until now the only singing I've done has been in the bath.

Builder's daughter Billie has the right pop pedigree - she went to the same London stage school as the Spice Girls. Last year, as a young model, she was chosen to front a publicity campaign by Smash Hits magazine.

She was spotted by Virgin Record bosses dancing to a Prodigy song on a TV ad and landed a #1million deal.

Now she's up there with the legends of pop prodigies who've topped the UK charts. Little Jimmy Osmond was only nine years and eight months old when Long Haired Lover from Liverpool made No1 in 1972.

And Helen Shapiro was just 14 in 1961 when You Don't Know Me went to No 1.

But Billie vows to outstay them all. She said: "I've been working towards this ever since I was a kid.

"I started out doing drama, dance and singing locally in Swindon, and taking modelling courses in the holidays.

"My family is really pleased for me, and very supportive. But I don't have pushy parents.

"They are always anxious about whether I'm doing the right things, but most of all they want to be sure that I'm happy."

Billie has almost completed her debut album, which is a mixture of swing songs, pop and R&B.

And she has already met idol Madonna. Billie said: "My big ambition is to perform with her."