Billie Piper and Laurence Fox divorce

The couple were married for eight years Credit: PA

Billie Piper and Laurence Fox have divorced after more than eight years of marriage.

Actress Piper was granted a "decree nisi" from actor Fox at a brief hearing on Thursday at the Central Family Court in High Holborn, London.

It was granted on the ground of Fox's "unreasonable behaviour".

Neither were in attendance at the proceedings.

Billie Piper and Laurence Fox in 2011 Credit: PA

Lewis star Fox, 37, and former pop singer Piper, 33, married in December 2007 and have two sons together.

In a statement on Fox's official Facebook page in March, they said that "no third parties" were involved and appealed for "space and privacy".

The statement read: "Laurence Fox and Billie Piper have separated. No third parties are involved. For the sake of our family we request and appeal for space and privacy at this time."

No details of the "unreasonable behaviour" were revealed in divorce documents made public on Thursday.

Piper was previously married to radio and TV presenter Chris Evans. The pair separated in 2004 before divorcing in May 2007.

Fox is a member of the famous acting dynasty which includes his father James, best known for The Servant and Downton Abbey.

His uncle Edward starred in The Day Of The Jackal, while Fox's cousins Emilia and Freddie also act, and are known respectively for the BBC's Silent Witness and Channel 4's Cucumber.

Piper was previously married to TV and radio presenter Chris Evans Credit: PA