Pete Doherty's mother says he appreciated classical music and could read at three

Kate Moss believes fiancé Pete Doherty is a truly talented artist and his mum wouldn’t disagree. The Babyshambles singer’s life is a hell of a mess now but before he got hooked on drugs at university, he was a schoolboy swot.

At the age of three, Pete, now 27, could already read and recognise the music of Tchaikovsky. ‘He devoured books at an alarming rate,’ says Jacqueline Doherty.

She reveals that her boy, who was also a keen chess player, got his love of hats from his dad and that father and son were both big fans of The Smiths, The Clash and Chas and Dave.

Jacqueline – who’s written a book about Pete’s childhood – first realised he had a drug problem when the musician turned up for Christmas dinner in 2002 wearing just a vest and jeans. ‘He usually liked to dress up for the occasion in a cravat, waistcoat and crisp white shirt,’ she recalls.

A year later, after Pete’s behaviour became increasingly strange, Jacqueline asked for the truth. ‘At first there was a weak denial,’ she says, ‘then it all all came out: he was smoking heroin and crack cocaine.’

Pete Doherty My Prodigal Son is published by Headline on 11 September, £16.99.