Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge: I wanted to be a boy called Alex

By Kerri-Ann Roper, Press Association Entertainment Editor

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge has said that growing up she wanted to be a boy – and said if she had been offered the choice back then, today she might be transgender.

The TV star and writer said she dressed as a boy called Alex and shaved her head at one point.

Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Jodie Comer from Killing Eve at this year’s Bafta TV awards (Ian West/PA)

Speaking to American’s National Public Radio (NPR) station, she said: “I just thought (boys) had more fun. I just wanted to be out climbing the trees and wearing comfortable clothes… and a lot of my friends were really into the dresses and the dolls and all that kind of stuff, it just wasn’t my bag.

“It just seemed so, you kind of had to choose one or the other at that time, and I just definitely wanted to be climbing the trees and that kind of thing.

“I had a friend called Maria and we both cut our hair really short and shaved it at one point, wore boxer shorts and swimming trunks and we were just boys.”

Asked if that had happened today, if her parents would think she was transgender, she said: “I think my parents would have been exactly the same and you know they never had an issue with it, they were just sort of like sure, you’re Alex, let’s take you to Gap, Alex. I just remember it never being a problem.

“I wonder now if I had, back then because I was very fervent about it when I was younger, I just desperately wanted to be a boy, if it had been taken seriously and maybe by my school or something and I’d spoken about those options, those options had been given to me, I probably would have jumped at it.

“But I don’t think my parents would have been any different, I think they’re just like live and let live, and so I was very happy being a girl dressed as a boy as long as I was allowed to express myself that way, and allowed to change my name and stuff, they were like, ‘Whatever makes you happy’.”

Waller-Bridge, who is also the creator of hit series Killing Eve which recently won three TV Baftas, told NPR that going to boarding school was a “crossover point”.

She said: “I wasn’t thinking either being a boy or girl, but then I discovered boys in a big way, one in particular I remember, meeting a boy and suddenly becoming really aware that I looked sort of boyish myself and he probably didn’t like that.

“That was the kind of crossover point and then I was like wa-hey, I was like this stuff is fun and then I just dressed like such a tart for years and years.”

The Bafta-winner later added that she still feels “more comfortable in a hoody and jeans than I ever do in kitten heels and a flowy skirt”.

She is currently working on the script for the upcoming Bond film, with the franchise’s producer Barbara Broccoli hailing her as “amazing”.