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Billie's The No.1 Kiddie

Billie's the No1 kiddie

Claudia Connell 11 October 1998 (c) 1998 News Group Newspapers. All rights reserved

BILLIE Piper caused a sensation when she topped the summer charts aged just 15 with Because We Want To.

Now sweet 16, she's set to storm to No 1 again today with her second single Girlfriend-with album Honey To The B tipped to follow suit when released next week.

It's an impressive start for someone so young. But teen wonder Billie wouldn't have it any other way.

"Now that Because We Want To was No1, I would be disappointed if my other singles don't get to No1 too," admits Billie, who has a Pounds 1 million deal with music giant Virgin.

But, as the young star is quick to point out, success did not happen overnight. "I've been working since I was six in TV commercials, so it's a bit unfair when people say it all happened in a few days," she says. In fact, Billie was so determined to be a star she left her family home in Swindon aged just 12 to attend the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

She reveals: "I knew I wanted to be famous and I wasn't going to let anything stop me-and that meant I had to go to London.

"I was a bit lonely at times, but I'm glad I did it because it paid off." Her big break came when Virgin bosses signed her up after spotting her promoting Smash Hits.

Seven months later, Billie became the youngest female chart-topper in 37 years when Because We Want To went straight to No1.

Billie has no idea how much money she made. She says: "I get paid pocket money every week out of my earnings. The rest is invested. I don't even know how much is there!"

And fame also has a down side, as Billie found out during a recent trip home.

She says: "A boy came over, said I was ugly then hit me. I was so upset. I thought everyone would be pleased for me in my home town."

So what's next? "Worldwide success," Billie replies instantly.

"I don't just want to be a hit in the UK. I want to be as famous as Madonna."