After Billie Piper and husband Laurence Fox welcomed their second son and shared an intimate snap of his feet, MFM’s (and we bargain a lot of others’) thoughts turned to what name they’d choose.
Laurence didn’t keep us waiting long, and has now tweeted, “New baba is called Eugene Pip Fox. He’s a little legend.”
With Laurence having previously recorded a podcast of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations for Classic FM, it seems the book’s famous opening lines and central character has a certain affinity with the Piper family name.
“My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip,” Dickens wrote.
For young Eugene Pip, his middle name appears to have a similar thread of family history to it, if Wikipedia is to believed! Eugene’s mum goes by the name of Billie Paul Piper (she was born Lianne Piper) and Billie’s dad is Paul Piper. It seems quite an easy leap from Piper to Pip, but most astonishing of all, Laurence’s mum’s maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Piper!
While Bille and Laurence’s first son Winston James Fox, 3, appears to nod to Laurence’s dad, James Fox, perhaps the name Eugene alludes to Laurence’s uncle Edward, Laurence’s cousin Emilia and Billie’s sister Elle, who all share names beginning with the letter ‘E’ (again, thanks Wiki!).
Laurence’s career has seen him take on the role of many a daper character. From playing Prince Charles in Whatever Love Means in 2005 through to his role as Sir Christopher Hatton in Elizabeth: The Golden Age in 2007, one could argue the regal nature of these characters could have played their part. As the Daily Mail reports, Eugene has Greek origins meaning ‘well-born’ or ‘noble’.
Eugene will certainly be in good company, with Prince Eugene of Savoy, Pope Eugene and even US star Gene Kelly sharing the same name.