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Pieces of Britney

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.

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.

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 seven 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 a mute symbol of 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. These are some of the stories that have been told about her - but The Narrative is hers to finish.

Presenter: Pandora Sykes
Dramatist: Katie Hims
Sound: Peter Ringrose
Producers: Anne Isger & Sasha Yevtushenko
A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 4

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