8 MAY 2001
In a hot-pink sarong, cropped white shirt and flip-flops, 18-year-old Billie Piper wed DJ Chris Evans in a £235 ‘quickie’ ceremony at Las Vegas’ famed Little Church of the West. While many suspected they would wed this summer at his mansion near Godalming, Surrey, the couple surprised all by jetting off to Vegas with just a few close friends to tie the knot.
The two soaked up the sun in Palm Springs before chartering a jet for Vegas and checking into a suite at Harrah’s Casino. The Sunday ceremony lasted but fifteen minutes, and no wedding rings were exchanged. Chris' TFI Friday compatriot Danny Baker served as best man, and was one of four guests at the small gathering. Billie’s parents are believed to have been at their Swindon home this weekend.
“Only a few of us here knew about the plans and even we didn’t know exactly when or where it would happen” a spokesman for Virgin Radio said. “I’m sure Billie’s family will have been in on the act and will have wanted whatever Billie and Chris wanted.”
Virgin Radio DJ Nick Abbot confirmed the news on air on Monday afternoon and a spokeswoman relayed their excitement: “We are delighted to formally announce that Chris Evans and Billie Piper have married. We wish Chris and Billie every happiness and look forward to celebrating with them when Chris returns to the breakfast show next Monday.”
News of the couple’s engagement broke in April, but Chris later denied the two would wed. Billie is said to have proposed to Chris on a weekend holiday to Paris after they had been together four months. They first met a year ago when she appeared on TFI Friday, but it wasn’t until she stopped by his radio show in December that the two started dating.
Chris and Billie aren’t the only celebrities to walk down the aisle at the Little Church of the West. Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere wed there, as did Noel Gallagher and Meg Mathews.
Billie had been engaged to 5ive star Ritchie Neville but the two called it quits last year.
Chris was previously married to DJ Carol McGiffin; the two split in 1998.