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Billie Piper on why she left Doctor Who: “I didn’t like the responsibility of being a role model”

Billie Piper, who played Rose Tyler on Doctor Who from 2005 until 2006, has explained why she left the show during an appearance on the latest Desert Island Discs.

Billie Piper Doctor Who
Published: Monday, 10th May 2021 at 5:00 pm

Doctor Who's Billie Piper has revealed why she chose to leave the BBC One show after two series, saying that she "didn't like the responsibility of being a role model".


Speaking to Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, the I Hate Suzie star said that, when Doctor Who was rebooted in 2005, she "didn't know that it would be successful".

"It made me really famous again in that sort of mainstream fame way that I find really uncomfortable."

When asked if that was why she left the show in 2006, Piper said: "I think that played into it but also I was just at the beginning of my acting career.

"As much as I love that show, I love Rose Tyler, Russell T Davies and all the people that I continue to have a relationship with, I wanted to do different stuff. I didn't like the responsibility of being a sort of role model."

Earlier in the interview, Piper said landing the role of the Ninth Doctor's companion Rose Tyler was "great in many ways".

"I was doing what I felt I was born to do on some level. It was a very exciting and satisfying time because it was hard to get an acting job with my history as first, a pop star, and then this sort of burnt out child star which is how I think I was painted – certainly through the years I was with Chris [Evans].

"And actually I've had to do that until quite recently, to sort of shift people's perception which is really annoying and completely unhelpful but anyway, we're almost there now, 20 years later."


Piper, who appeared in Doctor Who alongside Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant and returned briefly in series four, went on to star in Secret Diary of a Call Girl and more recently, Sky Atlantic's I Hate Suzie, which she co-created with Lucy Prebble.

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