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


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?

<p>The film explores Spears’s story so far - including the recent #FreeBritney movement</p>

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.