It’s not often that Lianne Young gets back to her home city. When she left Bristol 16 years ago, with dreams of becoming a famous porn star in Los Angeles, Bristol was a very different sort of place.
“It’s so vibrant here now,” says the 41-year-old. “There’s such much creative industry going on. But society has changed generally since I left – people are much more open-minded here now. When I left to become an adult star 16 years ago, the word porn wasn’t even spoken – the taboo was still enormous. I lost family and friends for many years because I was determined to get into the industry. I don’t think that would be the case now.”
The former probation officer’s first taste of being in the media spotlight came when she went topless on an episode of Jerry Springer – as her sister pleaded with her not to go into the world of hardcore adult movies.
“I was a rebel, I always had been,” says Lianne – who grew up in Keynsham. “My dad died when I was 18, and on the day of his funeral I found out I was going to be a single mother.
By the time she had made up her mind to go into the porn world, she was a young single mother-of-two living in a council flat, and says she made the decision to do hard core pornography to create a better life for her and her children.
“I went into it with my eyes open – with a plan to go in, make plenty of money, and then get out within a couple of years. And I stuck to that. I’m proud of what I did, because it has made an enormous difference to my kids’ lives. They have come out as very well-rounded and successful young people, so I must have been doing something right.”
While her mother and sister pleaded with her not to do porn – she says since leaving the industry, she has rebuilt her relationships with them.
But Lianne, who currently lives in Perth, Australia, isn’t just home for visiting family members – she has now made the leap into mainstream media, and is currently working to promote and encourage submissions for the Hollywood Film Festival. She is also busy trying to find British singletons willing to take part in an edgy new series similar to First Dates – except the dates feature three people.
“A lot of my work now is on the promotion and production side of things, as well as working a lot on Australian television as a resident sex expert – or sexpert,” she says. “I also act as a sexpert to a number of British TV shows, like Trisha and Jeremy Kyle.
“I have certainly never regretted my time in the adult film industry, but it has taken a lot of work for me to be taken seriously in the mainstream media industry as a result of it – I’ve had to work extremely hard.”
In many ways, Lianne says she felt safer working in the adult industry than in the mainstream media – she has been into rehab twice since leaving porn behind.
“I only first started having problems with drink after I had left the adult film industry,” she says. “Once you start getting into the mainstream media world, it’s all party, party, party – especially in London. It felt the norm to go out drinking all the time. That was never the case in the adult industry in LA. Drink and drugs were never allowed anywhere near the adult stars, and it was safer to have sex with porn stars than with non-porn stars, because we had to be tested for HIV every couple of weeks without fail.
When Lianne first ventured into the world of adult films the internet was still in its infancy – and online pornography had not yet found its foothold in the industry.
“The internet has killed the adult film industry, there’s certainly no money to be made there now,” Lianne says. “I wouldn’t do it these days, because it’s just too accessible.
“Online porn was only just starting to appear as I was leaving, but it has certainly taken the glamour and the professionalism out of the industry.
“I got out when my children reached a certain age, because I thought that was important. Though I know women who have been doing it for more than 15 years, and who have teenage sons – which can’t be a good thing given how easily accessible porn is online these days. I’m a strong believer that all porn sites should require some sort of strong age verification before anyone gets to see anything.
“In fact, I’ve done a lot of sex education work over the years, because I feel strongly that young people need to know that porn is not normal life. With modern technology it’s all too easy for young people to mistakenly think it will make them glamorous to dabble in online porn.”
Putting porn behind her
Lianne Young made a name for herself as an adult film star – often under the pseudonym Billie Britt. But now she works in a variety of mainstream media roles – from acting as a “sexpert” for TV shows to working in event publicity for things like the Hollywood Film Festival.
“I was particularly keen to come back to Bristol to promote the film festival because there is such creativity here,” she says.
For full details of the submission process for short films and documentaries, in the Hollywood Film Festival, visit https://www.filmfreeway.com Submission are being accepted until the end of August, but the submission fee is less if you get in early.
To read more from Lianne about her colourful life, visit her website at