We’ve added some stunning new stills of Billie alongside Josh Hartnett and Eva Green. Many thanks to Far Far Away!

Speaking at last night’s UK premiere of Penny Dreadful, Piper said the things she faces in the new Sky drama are much scarier than Doctor Who’s tank-like villains.

“As much as [Penny Dreadful] has all these supernatural elements [like Doctor Who] I think it’s largely about mortality,” said Piper, adding: “It’s about lots of people existing on the outskirts of society and becoming one and living with demons and darkness – and I think all of that is pretty scary. Far scarier than a Dalek!”


Billie Piper is talking about “special effects” and “action sequences” with all the enthusiasm you would expect from someone who has signed up to make a multimillion-pound TV series airing on both sides of the Atlantic. She can riff on the show’s main themes and the script – and we are just getting on to the point about the “dexterous text” when she says: “I’m sure this is all really boring. I play a prostitute. I’m just in it for the sex!”
Piper has an excellent sense of humour: a mischievous giggle, a willingness to sacrifice her point for the sake of a good joke. It’s why she’s so brilliant on chat shows – the last time I saw her, on Alan Carr’s Chatty Man, she imitated a dance move popularised in the Channel 4 series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding for laughs. She also told of how she had recently found a “filthy nightclub” on a night off from looking after her sons, making me wonder if Billie Piper is still quite the wild child.

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Billie Piper and Oliver Chris are part of the company of actors helping to develop a new play for the National Theatre, exploring the sharp end of the tangled relationships between the Establishment, the Press and the police.

In short, the play — or rather the piece of satirical fiction — will explore the fallout from the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the Press.I understand Richard Bean’s play will also delve deeply into the psyches of some of the key players in, and around, the inquiry.

Piper, Chris and other members of the large ensemble have been workshopping the project with Bean and Nicholas Hytner, who will direct whatever emerges from all the developmental work.

The plan is that Bean’s untitled piece will be staged at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre in the summer, and if it clicks with critics and audiences, it will be transferred swiftly into the West End.

The NT is hyper-sensitive about the production; all those with a connection to it are asked to sign a non-disclosure document. In fact, it’s being insisted upon.

Billie was last seen at the NT in Lucy Prebble’s play The Effect. She’s about to appear on Sky TV in the much-anticipated horror drama Penny Dreadful, from Neal Street Productions.


Billie Piper sees Penny as poetic and thoughtful, though her Brona Croft is living on the dog-eat-dog outskirts of society.

An Irish immigrant and “lady of the night” who turns tricks yet also faces a crippling disease, she doesn’t adhere to Victorian etiquette and acting “appropriate, even though the underworld of that era is perverse and mad,” Piper says. “She behaves like a lad, so even though the corset kind of straps you up, it was good to be loose in it.”