Billie Piper says childhood friend Amy Winehouse was bullied at school

Billie Piper has looked back on her childhood friendship with Amy Winehouse, claiming that the late singer was “bullied” by other students at their school for standing out.

Piper appeared on the latest episode (3 April) of the Table Manners podcast, hosted by the singer Jessie Ware and her mother, Lennie.

In their conversation, actor and former popstar Piper spoke about moving to London from Swindon aged 12 to attend the Sylvia Young Theatre School, where her peers included the future multi-award winner Winehouse.

After confirming that she and the “Tears Dry on Their Own” singer were friends at the time, Piper, 41, shared some insight into Winehouse’s unique nature.

“She was always cheeky,” Piper recalled. “She was always like that, you know. She would do abstract stuff, and I really loved it.”

“Could she act?” Lennie asked, to which Piper replied: “Yeah, she could do everything. Super clever, super bright, [she was] unlike any other girl at that school.”

The actor, who will soon star in the hotly anticipated Netflix drama Scoop, then shared that Winehouse’s quirks and differences from their fellow students led to her not having “the easiest ride” at the school.

“She got bullied quite a lot at school because she was doing her own thing, and she liked to push buttons, and do weird stuff,” the I Hate Suzie star said.

Billie Piper and Amy Winehouse (Getty)
Billie Piper and Amy Winehouse (Getty)

“And I had a lot of space for that, but not many of the girls did. It wasn’t the easiest ride.”

Winehouse received widespread critical acclaim for her music, and became the first British woman to win five Grammys in 2008. She also received excessive media attention surrounding her struggles with substance abuse and addiction, and died of alcohol poisoning in July 2011, aged 27.

Winehouse’s life will be detailed in the forthcoming biopic Back to Black, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and starring Marisa Abela as the singer.

Last month, Piper made a rare comment about her relationship with her ex-husband Laurence Fox, the former actor and current right-wing agitator.

Asked about having to co-parent with Fox, who has gained notoriety in the UK for his politics and high-profile on-air sexism storm, Piper admitted the toll had become “enormously difficult”.

“I close everything down and keep a very strict routine with the kids so that there’s consistency. I keep them close. That’s all I can do,” she told British Vogue.

Piper also noted that Fox’s family, including his sister Lydia Fox and her husband Richard Ayoade, “might have a more interesting take” on him.