Billie Piper has been talking to her former co-star on the latest edition of David Tennant Does A Podcast With… The actor, who played the legendary Rose Tyler from 2005 to 2009, was on to chat about her career and, in particular, I Hate Suzie, her critically lauded Sky Atlantic drama, co-created with playwright Lucy Prebble. The series sees Piper playing an actress whose life and career are upturned when her phone is hacked, and private photographs are leaked.
During the conversation, Tennant and Piper inevitably touched on Who, with Piper reiterating her previous statement that, when she and Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston were making the first series back in 2004-05, nobody on the production believed it would be a success, much less the triumph it became:
When we started making it, everyone said it was going to be a failure. So you just didn’t imagine it being on for longer than three months, imagining that 15 years later, it’s still probably the biggest job you will have ever done and you’ll still be talking about it and going off and meeting people and, you know, celebrating it…
Piper also says that the pressure of playing the Powell Estate’s finest was a relatable experience with her erstwhile career as a pop star, and that both contrasted with her three years of relatively low profile after she retired from singing:
Sometimes I found that quite hard, because I had three years just living a life that wasn’t particularly normal but it wasn’t 17 hours a day selling records and being very actively public and then I really enjoyed those sort of sloppy years and going back and starting Doctor Who just reminded me about that and the pressure and the responsibility. And responsibility was a big part of it because I was in my early 20s and quite wild and you’re sort of the face of a family show and I found that really hard.
Both Piper and Tennant were more than a little surprised to realise that they had known each other for 15 years.
Not only that, but the characters are still very much alive, the two having worked together on The Tenth Doctor Adventures for Big Finish in 2017 and Piper having reprised her role for them again in 2019’s Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon. As Piper says,
“Well, it’s awful, isn’t it? Not awful, but when you meet kids through the conventions who are like, ‘My name’s Rose. I was named after you when I was born 15 years ago’!”
David Tennant Does A Podcast With… is available via all podcast providers. It’s a Somethin’ Else and No Mystery production.