The making of pop's supergirl.
By JOHN DINGWALL. 7 July 1998 (c) 1998 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd
REVEALED: Chart-topper Billie Piper's favourite album - of her photographs
Teen pop sensation Billie Piper always dreamed about being a big, big star.
From the age of four she was dancing in front of the TV, a broom handle for a microphone, singing along with
Top of the Pops.
Now her childhood dream is a reality. Her debut single, Because We Want To, has gone straight to No1.
And our exclusive pictures of the young Billie show just how she has always been happy to play up to the cameras.
Her mum, Mandy, said yesterday: "Billie's always loved dressing up and being the centre of attention. She
would have a broom handle or mop instead of a mike as she mimed to songs. We are very proud of our little girl today."
On Sunday, Billie was officially top of the pops herself - but was still tucked up in bed by 10pm.
The level-headed singer, who was discovered after appearing on the cover of Smash Hits, insists she hasn't
let the sudden fame go to her head.
She said: "I was in bed early as I was being interviewed for the Big Breakfast yesterday morning.
"I'm too tired to take it all in. It still seems weird to be No1.
"I can't accept it at the moment. I have little outbursts and start jumping around from time to time, acting
stupid. I can't even imagine or visualise how many people have bought my single.
"I've achieved my main ambition but my hopes for the future are that people enjoy me and my music and that
my records are successful. Now I really want to tour the world. I want to be an inspiration to other young people who want
to do things like this."
Billie added: "I told my dad how the single was doing and he said, `You'll always be number one in my eyes'.
That's my dad. My parents are really supportive and really enthusiastic. They like watching me perform."
Billy, who quit school in April, has her own personal tutor to help her with her education but is already
rubbing shoulders with other stars.
But she has not lost touch with her old pals in Swindon, saying: "My friends are cool about this. They're
enthusiastic and supportive. I don't think there's a problem there."
She was discovered by former RCA Records managing director, Hugh Goldsmith, who now runs the Innocent label,
a subsidiary of Virgin.
Said Goldsmith: "I saw her on the cover of Smash Hits magazine and then on MTV and knew I just had to meet
Hugh masterminded the launch of Take That and Robson & Jerome at RCA. Along with Virgin, his company have
invested #1million to help make sure Billie's career is long-term.
He admitted yesterday he wasn't surprised by Billie's overnight success.
He said: "We knew there was room for a British solo female artist with talent and Billy has been dedicated
from the very start. She is philosophical about her success. She has worked very hard from day one. She is set to become a
Billie was a pupil at Sylvia Young's stage school, which has also launched pop stars Louise, All Saints and
Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton.
She then landed a role in the children's TV show Scratchy and Co - and even appeared alongside her idol Madonna
as an extra in the hit movie Evita.
But it was the Smash Hits cover that was her big break.
Mum Mandy and builder dad Paul encouraged their eldest child's showbiz ambitions from an early age.
She was a mere toddler when she sang to promote a new range of yoghurt-based shampoos.
As a bubbly 10-year-old, Billie went with her family on holiday to America, where she got her first taste
of rubbing shoulders with an established celebrity - ET at Disneyworld!
It may seem strange that a virtual unknown has gone straight to the top of the charts.
But the music industry is now so clinical that almost nothing is left to chance when such a big investment
has gone into a singer.
Paul Kelly of record "plugging" company Rush Release, says they can play a crucial role.
He said: "We can open the doors which are vital for any act to get through."
(c) Scottish Daily Record & Sunday Mail Ltd, 1998.