Billie Piper was announced as new ‘Doctor Who’ companion 12 years ago today

Today marks exactly twelve years since it was announced to the press that Billie Piper was going to be the new Doctor Who companion.

Piper was best known at the time as the late-’90s teen pop star behind the Number 1 hit songs ‘Because We Want To’ and ‘Girlfriend’.

Since leaving Doctor Who in 2006 she has gone on to establish herself as an acclaimed actress, starring in ITV2’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl, BBC One’s The Ruby in the Smoke and Sky Atlantic’s Penny Dreadful.

Rose Doctor Who Billie Piper

If you feel like getting all nostalgic, here’s the BBC’s original press release from 24 May 2004:

Billie Piper is confirmed to play Rose Tyler, companion to Doctor Who, it was announced today by Julie Gardner, Head of Drama, BBC Wales.

The former singer who made her acting debut last year in the critically-acclaimed BBC One drama serial Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Tale, will star alongside Christopher Eccleston in the forthcoming 13-part drama series which returns to BBC One early next year.

Julie Gardner says: “Billie is beautiful, funny and intelligent. We needed to find a unique, dynamic partner for Christopher Eccleston, and Billie fits the bill perfectly.

“She will make an extraordinary Rose Tyler. Doctor Who has his new assistant!”

“Piper, who also received critical-acclaim for her role in Bella and the Boys, a one-off drama for BBC Two, is currently starring opposite Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom in The Calcium Kid.

Doctor Who is an iconic show and I am absolutely thrilled to be playing the part of Rose Tyler,” says Billie Piper.

“I am also looking forward to working with Christopher Eccleston and writer Russell T Davies.”

Executive producer/writer, Russell T Davies, adds: “The Doctor’s companion is one of the most important and cherished roles in the history of TV drama.

“I’m delighted that someone of Billie’s talent is coming on board the Tardis, to travel through time and space.”

Filming in Cardiff later this year for transmission on BBC One, Doctor Who is written by Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Paul Cornell and Robert Shearman.

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The new season of Doctor Who is expected to begin filming in mid-June.

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Do you miss Rose? Let us know below…

  • Dr. Moo

    Goodness knows how that announcement went down at the time… thankfully Billie proved to be a fantastic actress; Rose was a horrible person but Billie is anything but.

    • Tzu

      Horrible person? Get a fucking brain.

      • Dr. Moo

        I have a big enough brain to be able to speak without dropping F-Bombs on people I disagree with.
        You disagree with me so by all means say so – that’s fine, using vulgar obscenities is not.

        • Larry Gist

          OMG put your big girl panties on and shut it.

          • Dr. Moo

            Why should I shut up? Am I somehow forbidden from having an opinion? I’m not the one being rude here, I’m not the one who’s name-calling!

          • Larry Gist

            And yet seem to want Tzu to not express his opinion in a way that he feels is appropriate? Jesus you are a fucking moron…

          • Dr. Moo

            Adults interact politely without hurling unwarranted abusive language. 14-year-olds interact with swears and name-calling.
            One of us is being grownup, one is being immature and rude.

          • Larry Gist

            Here let me call you a WWWWAAAAAAAAmbulance. Jesus Tapdanicing Christ you have a very thin skin.

          • Dr. Moo

            You’re only proving my point there Larry. Come back when you can behave like a grownup.

          • Larry Gist

            And you are completely proving mine as well.

    • Terrible Fate

      I disagree; I liked Rose a lot.

      That’s the response you should’ve got. What’s wrong with people?!

      • Dr. Moo

        THANK YOU! This is a mature response from a decent person! I don’t get why some people think they can be vulgar (like in some other responses I’ve had to that comment) just because it’s the internet. I doubt they’d be like that in person. People in the real world interact like you just did to me and that’s a good thing.

  • rreppy

    Do we miss Rose? Hell, yes. The episodes she did were the absolute pinnacle of the entire Dr. Who timeline, in my opinion.

  • Wizza

    At the time it seemed like madness, but was actually inspired. Perfect companion to jump start the series again, as well as the perfect foil to Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor. Just don’t mention series 2 Rose…

    • Daniel

      I like to pretend Rose series 2 never existed. Poor Billie, what a terrible legacy! Still, she was pretty wonderful with Chris in series one and that is how I like to always think of her.

  • John McJ

    She was good in series one when she needed to be. After that it was all downhill.

    • Daniel

      Agree. I think she was perfect with Chris’ doctor but had no strong chemistry with David’s at all. Part of that was probably that David had a very hard time getting to grips with the role and didn’t really look comfortable with it until Runaway Bride and series 3, so not at all down to Billie who was always pretty great in the part. The fact that series 2 is the worst written series in nuWho by some wide margin didn’t help the character of Rose at all either. Such a massive drop in quality between the two series and complete change of character for Rose as well – real pity that.