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Framing Britney Spears is finally coming to the UK – here’s how to watch it

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<p>The film explores Spears’s story so far - including the recent #FreeBritney movement</p>
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raming Britney Spears made waves around the world upon its release earlier this month – and now the film is officially set to debut on UK television this week.

The documentary, which was produced by the New York Times, charts the singer’s rise to fame in the late 90s, before probing the media’s treatment of Spears in the 00s and the recent #FreeBritney movement, which has raised concerns over the 39-year-old’s court-approved conservatorship.

Before it makes its UK debut, here’s what you need to know about the film that’s got everyone talking…

When is Framing Britney Spears on TV?

The film explores Spears’s story so far – including the recent #FreeBritney movement

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The 90-minute documentary will air on Sky Documentaries on February 16 at 9pm. It will also be able to stream on demand on NOW TV’s entertainment pass

What is Framing Britney Spears all about?

The film, directed by Samantha Stark, re-examines Spears’ career from her early years as a teen pop princess to the present day, looking closely at the sexism that helped shape the media narrative surrounding the singer and exploring the #FreeBritney movement.

Spears was placed under a court-mandated conservatorship, a form of legal guardianship for adults following her high profile breakdown in 2007. It is usually put in place for adults who are not in a position to make major life decisions, like those relating to finances, medical care or legal issues.

Spears’s finances are still under conservatorship

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Since 2008, the star’s multi-million dollar trust has been under the conservatorship, which was controlled by her father Jamie Spears until 2019, when he temporarily stepped down citing health issues. Last summer, her lawyers filed a document asking for longtime manager and co-conservator Jodi Montgomery to become the sole conservator, citing “major changes in [Spears’s] current lifestyle and her wishes.” In November, however, judges ruled in favour of her father, extending his conservatorship.

Does Britney feature in the film?

There are no new interviews with Spears in the documentary – the filmmakers have revealed that although they tried to contact the star about the film, they were unsure about whether the request ever reached her, as the “circle” around her is so “tight.”

Her family declined to take part, but Stark did manage to secure a rare interview with her friend and former assistant Felicia Culotta, who has worked with the singer on and off since 1998. Stark’s aim was to avoid trying to speculate about “what’s inside Britney’s head,” she told Billboard. “I have this ethical dilemma because we’re making a documentary where the main person isn’t participating,” she said that. “And I don’t really like that […] So I listened to what Felicia had to tell me, and she didn’t want to speculate on how Britney’s doing. She’s still in touch with Britney and her family.”

Archive footage and interviews of the singer – including an infamous clip showing broadcaster Diana Sawyer questioning her about whether she’d cheated on Justin Timberlake – also feature in the film.

What has the reaction been like so far?

When Framing Britney Spears aired in the US earlier this month, it prompted an outpouring of support from a whole host of celebrities, from Sarah Jessica Parker to Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus – as well as an apology from her ex Timberlake, who stoked rumours that Spears had cheated on him by casting a lookalike in the video for his first solo single Cry Me A River.

Spears’ boyfriend Sam Asghari, meanwhile, did not pull any punches in an Instagram statement shared shortly after the documentary debuted, in which he described her father as “a total d**k.”

“Now it’s important to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles in our way,” he wrote. “In my opinion, Jamie is a total d**k. I won’t be going into details because I’ve always respected our privacy but at the same time I didn’t come to this country to not be able to express my opinion and freedom.”

The singer also appeared to refer obliquely to the film in a recent social media post, writing: “Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens.”

Framing Britney Spears is on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV on February 16 at 9pm.

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Tobias Menzies: The Crown’s Prince Philip on a suitable royal drama

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Tobias Menzies: The Crown’s Prince Philip on a right royal drama
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erhaps it’s due to the fact it is about a period of background that additional of us try to remember, possibly it is for the reason that it covers much more disputed ground either way, this sequence of The Crown has been its most controversial yet. There has been specific outcry about the royal Netflix drama’s depiction of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s romantic relationship. But Tobias Menzies, who performs the Duke of Edinburgh, states finding hung up about blame and accuracy is beside the level – it is fictional drama, there for our satisfaction.

“It is an act of generation,” he suggests in his baritone voice, sounding significantly a lot less clipped and repressed than his character. “Actually in numerous methods it does an amazing PR occupation for the Crown but that is secondary – this is a clearly show about individuals. It has the caveat that we do not know what goes on guiding closed doorways. Peter [Morgan, the writer] is likely on what he thinks is attention-grabbing, but he does have some very superior instincts and good connections.” Anyway, Menzies thinks it is nutritious to question the monarchy. “It makes it possible for folks of a lot of different political stripes to be in a position to have interaction in concepts and interrogate what it is like to dwell within this arcane institution. I am not a monarchist and I am very pleased of what the clearly show does. It treads a sensitive line, getting fairly apolitical to examine interactions within all the pageantry – although being apolitical is difficult when you get to Thatcher.”

Menzies bleached his dark eyebrows and was kitted out with a filthy blonde wig to be Philip, who is 58 at the get started of this instalment (Menzies is 46). He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his efficiency in the earlier series, getting more than the mantle from Matt Smith. “I know him but he just wished me very well and said I would have a good time,” suggests Menzies. “We did not converse about it considerably, which is quite English of us, pretty Prince Philip and reserved”.

Like quite a few of us, Menzies has discovered about the royal spouse and children as a result of looking at The Crown. Diana’s loss of life was the 1st royal tale he remembers. “Before that I was not very engaged. I hadn’t assumed of Prince Philip really much prior to coming to do the exhibit. A good deal of people in the royal spouse and children are just part of the furnishings.”

After reading through up, and looking at some YouTube clips though, Menzies decided that the Prince is “a very attention-grabbing person”. “He’s provoking at times, not fearful of an impression but there’s a actual power to him, a sort of warmth. He’s an odd contradiction – one particular of the most well recognised faces and voices in the environment however he does not give a lot absent.”

Compared with Denis Thatcher, and now Doug Emhoff, the husband of US Vice President elect Kamala Harris, Philip is portrayed as remaining uneasy with possessing a wife in ability. “Kamala and her husband are an intriguing parallel,” claims Menzies. “Philip was set for a garlanded occupation in the navy and then it is all blown apart and he goes into an establishment that is very constraining. It simply cannot have been that snug residing this kind of a ceremonial everyday living. He is clearly someone who likes notice but by period 4 he is having on with it.”

Matt Holyoak/Netflix

In this series, we see Philip’s lovingly competitive connection with his favorite baby, Princess Anne (“a chip off the block who does not look to undergo from the a lot more sensitive areas of say, Charles’, personality” Menzies says), him increasing into his role as aid act to the Queen, and vetting Diana. Then there is his marriage with Prince Andrew. “That is a very unedifying tale,” claims Menzies, with a wry smile. “Maybe not just one that has concluded nevertheless.”

There has not been any opinions from the royal family members about whether or not they enjoy the show? “I believe Philip prefers documentary and specifics,” suggests Menzies. “I just cannot see him sitting down down and viewing a present about himself.”

Menzies likes to immerse himself in the characters he performs, verging on becoming a system actor. He watched an interview from 1984 on YouTube frequently to get Philip’s voice suitable, as very well as researching how Matt Smith had approached the part, “his get the job done was a amazing resource, to see the bodily and vocal possibilities he designed.”

He bought the role from just a single audition, “which will irritate men and women,” he suggests apologetically, and is paid significantly less than Olivia Colman, soon after what he diplomatically phone calls “a complication with the earlier forged that triggered some ructions”. In 2018 Colman’s predecessor Claire Foy discovered she was earning fewer than Matt Smith. Netflix has considering the fact that apologised. “It would seem to be a good division now,” he claims. “Olivia provides arguably a significantly greater audience to the clearly show, she is a great deal more well known than me, and that is mirrored in our spend, it is not anything I have any difficulty with. It would be weird if she was not. I feel the field is on a journey with this and looking for to get improved. It is not going to be fastened right away but there is greater transparency, maybe that is helpful.”

Regardless of performing some convincing searching, taking pictures and fishing in this collection, Menzies suggests he “doesn’t operate with  that crowd”. He doesn’t feel Philip would want to be close friends with him on those grounds, “he would see me as a blow in, I do not know my way about a gun, right before this I only held 1 as soon as, clay pigeon shooting.”

His mother, a instructor, and father, a BBC radio producer and author, divorced when he was young and his mother moved from London to Kent with him and his brother. “My mom is pretty left wing,” he suggests.  “Thatcher was the dominant character from that sequence in my childhood. I’m ready to see what my mother thinks at the time she watches it.”

Menzies has spent lockdown in Kentish City, in which he life alone, functioning on Hampstead Heath and volunteering via the NHS app. He is also an ambassador for WaterAid – the  government is matching community donations to its Foreseeable future on Faucet appeal until eventually 4 February, to deliver thoroughly clean water to 1000’s of family members around the planet.

The Crown concluded filming in March and he hasn’t worked considering the fact that then but in January he is because of to start out capturing the second collection of Aisling Bea’s This Way Up. He plays the beautiful father of the key character’s pupil. “I am fairly psyched to see what Aisling has published for us and searching ahead to operating once again,” he claims. “If I did not know I was a workaholic ahead of I unquestionably know it now. Work and the rhythm of get the job done keeps me on the straight and slender and I have actually skipped it. I have also skipped a ton of the cultural daily life of London, all the things I go to see a ton, live shows, theatre and dance. A lot of my social lifestyle is constructed about that. In that regard it’s been a psychologically demanding calendar year to hold oneself afloat. I have been making an attempt to negotiate what has been a very strange time.”

He is involved about the affect that Covid has experienced on the foreseeable future of his sector. “I am in a placement to be able to sit it out for a bit but I get worried about younger actors. I imagine back to myself coming out of drama school. I didn’t have discounts as I went from job to career, carrying out a whole lot of regional theatre and I really don’t know what all those young actors will be accomplishing. The hazard is there will be a massive reduction, a entire tranche of young actors are not coming into the industry as a result of all of this. It is a hard time, significantly for theatre and often it feels like the govt is not providing a huge sum of steering as to how theatre will get back again.”

It feels to Menzies as if “the arts are not leading of the government’s to-do list”. He has thought of the issue: “On one degree you could argue the rhythm of this government’s reaction to the coronavirus is frequently a minor sluggish. I have an understanding of the challenge and I get that it is unprecedented instances. It is not a job I would want to have, being in politics. I hope the large fund in place for the arts continues due to the fact I think the cultural life of this country is fantastic, worth supporting and also stacks up even from a purely monetary posture.”

I wait around until our time is almost up to asks the  most controversial dilemma. Has he appear throughout any of the theories that Prince Philip is lifeless? “You are responsible of peddling a conspiracy theory,” he chides. “I am relatively positive he is not, he would seem alive to me, he is designed of solid stuff.”

The Crown is now on Netflix

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