9 episodes

Britney Spears: pop icon. Pandora Sykes pieces together what we know about her story, and what it tells us about sex, entertainment, and how we treat women in the public eye.

Pieces of Britney BBC Radio 4

    • Society & Culture

Britney Spears: pop icon. Pandora Sykes pieces together what we know about her story, and what it tells us about sex, entertainment, and how we treat women in the public eye.

    8. #FreeBritney

    8. #FreeBritney

    Pandora Sykes explores the movement to liberate Britney from her conservatorship - and considers the future of fame

    In this eight-part series for BBC Radio 4, Pandora traces Britney’s incredible life: from her hardscrabble childhood in rural Louisiana, to her coronation as the inaugural pop princess of the internet, navigating an insatiable celebrity gossip complex; through to a young mother on trial by the paparazzi.

    Britney is a pop culture phenomenon. Pandora looks behind that mask - and beyond Britney herself - to explore how Britney became the most Googled person in the world, for almost 7 years, and what it says, both then and now, about the entertainment industry, politics, sex and how we see women in the public eye.

    Britney’s public struggles saw her placed in a conservatorship, that she remains in to this day, and in which she has lost the right to control her finances and day to day life. Today, as Britney fights to remove her father from his role as her conservator, we will look at how Britney has been transformed from girl-next-door teen sensation to pop music’s Rapunzel, trapped in a supposedly rotten system.

    Pieces of Britney mixes documentary, archive and interviews to tell Britney’s remarkable story. It also features drama, written by playwright Katie Hims, to bring Britney and her extraordinary world to life.

    Pieces of Britney will be a sympathetic portrayal of Britney, during a time of cultural reappraisal about how we treat women - famous, or otherwise.

    Episode 8 Cast:

    Britney . . . . . Samantha Dakin
    Lynne . . . . . Laurel Lefkow
    Young Britney . . . . . Maddie Evans
    Other parts were played by Joseph Ayre, Elinor Coleman, Tony Turner and Simon Ludders.

    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Anne Isger and Sasha Yevtushenko.

    • 56 min
    7. Groundhog Day

    7. Groundhog Day

    Pandora Sykes revisits the events that led to Britney's conservatorship and the key players around that time.

    In this eight-part series for BBC Radio 4, Pandora traces Britney’s incredible life: from her hardscrabble childhood in rural Louisiana, to her coronation as the inaugural pop princess of the internet, navigating an insatiable celebrity gossip complex; through to a young mother on trial by the paparazzi.

    Britney is a pop culture phenomenon. Pandora looks behind that mask - and beyond Britney herself - to explore how Britney became the most Googled person in the world, for almost 7 years, and what it says, both then and now, about the entertainment industry, politics, sex and how we see women in the public eye.

    Britney’s public struggles saw her placed in a conservatorship, in which she lost the right to control her finances and day to day life. Thirteen years later, and she is in court, pleading for this controversial legal arrangement to end. We will look at how Britney has been transformed from girl-next-door teen sensation to pop music’s Rapunzel, trapped in a supposedly rotten system.

    Pieces of Britney mixes documentary, archive and interviews to tell Britney’s remarkable story. It also features drama, written by playwright Katie Hims, to bring Britney and her extraordinary world to life.

    Pieces of Britney is a sympathetic portrayal of Britney, during a time of cultural reappraisal about how we treat women - famous, or otherwise.

    Episode 7 Cast:

    Britney . . . . . Samantha Dakin
    Lynne . . . . . Laurel Lefkow
    Jamie . . . . . Elliot Cowan
    Sam . . . . . Paul Chahidi
    Adnan . . . . . Adam El Hagar
    Other parts played by Joseph Ayre and Julianna Jennings


    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko and Anne Isger.

    • 54 min
    6. Shattered

    6. Shattered

    Pandora Sykes explores of the heavy cost of having private troubles as a public figure.

    In this eight-part series for BBC Radio 4, Pandora traces Britney’s incredible life: from her hardscrabble childhood in rural Louisiana, to her coronation as the inaugural pop princess of the internet, navigating an insatiable celebrity gossip complex; through to a young mother on trial by the paparazzi.

    Britney is a pop culture phenomenon. Pandora looks behind that mask - and beyond Britney herself - to explore how Britney became the most Googled person in the world, for almost 7 years, and what it says, both then and now, about the entertainment industry, politics, sex and how we see women in the public eye.

    Britney’s public struggles saw her placed in a conservatorship, in which she lost the right to control her finances and day to day life. Thirteen years later, and she is in court, pleading for this controversial legal arrangement to end. We will look at how Britney has been transformed from girl-next-door teen sensation to pop music’s Rapunzel, trapped in a supposedly rotten system.

    Pieces of Britney mixes documentary, archive and interviews to tell Britney’s remarkable story. It also features drama, written by playwright Katie Hims, to bring Britney and her extraordinary world to life.

    Pieces of Britney is a sympathetic portrayal of Britney, during a time of cultural reappraisal about how we treat women - famous, or otherwise.

    Episode 6 Cast:

    Britney . . . . . Samantha Dakin
    Kalie . . . . . Julianna Jennings
    Sam . . . . . Paul Chahidi
    Jamie . . . . . Elliot Cowan
    Lynne . . . . . Laurel Lefkow
    Other parts were played by Joseph Ayre, Adam El Hagar and Elinor Coleman

    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Anne Isger and Sasha Yevtushenko.

    • 45 min
    5. Chaotic

    5. Chaotic

    Pandora Sykes navigates the media narratives around Britney, once she gets married and has kids.

    In this eight-part series for BBC Radio 4, Pandora traces Britney’s incredible life: from her hardscrabble childhood in rural Louisiana, to her coronation as the inaugural pop princess of the internet, navigating an insatiable celebrity gossip complex; through to a young mother on trial by the paparazzi.

    Britney is a pop culture phenomenon. Pandora looks behind that mask - and beyond Britney herself - to explore how Britney became the most Googled person in the world, for almost 7 years, and what it says, both then and now, about the entertainment industry, politics, sex and how we see women in the public eye.

    Britney’s public struggles saw her placed in a conservatorship, in which she lost the right to control her finances and day to day life. Thirteen years later, and she is in court, pleading for this controversial legal arrangement to end. We look at how Britney has been transformed from girl-next-door teen sensation to pop music’s Rapunzel, trapped in a supposedly rotten system.

    Pieces of Britney mixes documentary, archive and interviews to tell Britney’s remarkable story. It also features drama, written by playwright Katie Hims, to bring Britney and her extraordinary world to life.

    Pieces of Britney is a sympathetic portrayal of Britney, during a time of cultural reappraisal about how we treat women - famous, or otherwise.

    Episode 5 Cast:

    Britney . . . . . Samantha Dakin
    Kevin . . . . . Joseph Ayre
    Lynne . . . . . Laurel Lefkow
    Other parts played by Paul Chahidi, Julianna Jennings and Elinor Coleman

    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko and Anne Isger

    • 54 min
    4. Gossip Girl

    4. Gossip Girl

    Pandora Sykes revisits the collusion of paparazzi, gossip culture and being a young female celebrity in the early 2000s.

    In this eight-part series for BBC Radio 4, Pandora traces Britney’s incredible life: from her hardscrabble childhood in rural Louisiana, to her coronation as the inaugural pop princess of the internet, navigating an insatiable celebrity gossip complex; through to a young mother on trial by the paparazzi.

    Britney is a pop culture phenomenon. Pandora looks behind that mask - and beyond Britney herself - to explore how Britney became the most Googled person in the world, for almost 7 years, and what it says, both then and now, about the entertainment industry, politics, sex and how we see women in the public eye.

    Britney’s public struggles saw her placed in a conservatorship, in which she lost the right to control her finances and day to day life. Thirteen years later, and she is in court, pleading for this controversial legal arrangement to end. We will look at how Britney has been transformed from girl-next-door teen sensation to pop music’s Rapunzel, trapped in a supposedly rotten system.

    Pieces of Britney mixes documentary, archive and interviews to tell Britney’s remarkable story. It also features drama, written by playwright Katie Hims, to bring Britney and her extraordinary world to life.

    Pieces of Britney is a sympathetic portrayal of Britney, during a time of cultural reappraisal about how we treat women - famous, or otherwise.

    Episode 4 Cast:

    Britney . . . . . Samantha Dakin
    Jason . . . . . Adam El Hagar
    Receptionist . . . . . Julianna Jennings
    Registry Clerk . . . . . Elliot Cowan
    Lynne . . . . . Laurel Lefkow
    Other parts played by Joseph Ayre and Paul Chahidi.

    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Anne Isger and Sasha Yevtushenko.

    • 46 min
    3. The Fame Game

    3. The Fame Game

    Pandora Sykes explores how her controversially-named debut single catapulted teenage Britney into stardom.

    In this eight-part series for BBC Radio 4, Pandora traces Britney’s incredible life: from her hardscrabble childhood in rural Louisiana, to her coronation as the inaugural pop princess of the internet, navigating an insatiable celebrity gossip complex; through to a young mother on trial by the paparazzi.

    Britney is a pop culture phenomenon. Pandora looks behind that mask - and beyond Britney herself - to explore how Britney became the most Googled person in the world, for almost 7 years, and what it says, both then and now, about the entertainment industry, politics, sex and how we see women in the public eye.

    Britney’s public struggles saw her placed in a conservatorship, in which she lost the right to control her finances and day to day life. Thirteen years later, and she is in court, pleading for this controversial legal arrangement to end. We will look at how Britney has been transformed from girl-next-door teen sensation to pop music’s Rapunzel, trapped in a supposedly rotten system.

    Pieces of Britney mixes documentary, archive and interviews to tell Britney’s remarkable story. It also features drama, written by playwright Katie Hims, to bring Britney and her extraordinary world to life.

    Pieces of Britney is a sympathetic portrayal of Britney, during a time of cultural reappraisal about how we treat women - famous, or otherwise.

    Episode 3 Cast:

    Britney . . . . . Samantha Dakin
    Lynne . . . . . Laurel Lefkow
    Dave . . . . . Paul Chahidi
    Jamie . . . . . Elliot Cowan
    Jamie Lynn . . . . . Tillie Murray
    Other parts were played by Joseph Ayre and Julianna Jennings

    Sound design by Peter Ringrose
    Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko and Anne Isger

    • 37 min

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