Britney: The story behind the new BBC Three comedy

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W

hen Charly Clive found out she had a brain tumour, she felt like the ground had crumbled beneath her, leaving a big hole.

Describing it as a “shock”, she put on a brave face and, also, an inflatable sumo suit and bounced around the garden with her best friend Ellen Robertson.

Reflecting on that time, she told The Standard: “You go into a certain shock that protects you from what you’re really feeling. My first reaction was real confusion because it was not in my plan to get a brain tumour.

“And then my second thought was, we can’t be sad about this. Putting the sumo suit on, which in hindsight is a really bizarre reaction, but at the time I was like, if we’re just proactive about having a really nice time, then it’s not going to be bad.”

To help her cope with this strange, new reality, Charly decided to name her brain tumour ‘Britney’, after the US singer who she grew up listening to, which is also the name of the duo’s BBC Three Comedy show which airs on Tuesday.

Charly explained: “I needed it to be iconic, and there is nobody more iconic than Britney. If I was going to get a tumour, then she’d have to be a little bit fabulous, and so Britney was the one”.

‘We always knew we would go into comedy together’

Charly and Ellen, both 28, became friends on a school trip when they sat next to each other on the coach on the way to France.

Ellen said: “This doesn’t sound like the sort of place where a friendship would grow, but it really did.”

Describing their friendship like that of a “married couple”, the pair have been there for each other through thick and thin, most notably when Charly found out about the tumour in her pituitary gland.

In the months before her diagnosis, Charly had been living in New York after graduating drama school and was doing flyering jobs in Times Square while trying to get her big break as an actor.

Coming back to her home in Oxfordshire for what was supposed to be a flying visit, Charly went to see the GP after not having had a period for a few months.

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