Britney Spears's 'comeback' album has entered the British album charts at a disappointing number 14 - prompting speculation over the shaky future of her pop career.

New LP IN THE ZONE was meant to return Britney to the top of the pop charts following a tumultuous career break, but she was beaten out by other artists such as Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Dido and even Welsh opera star Bryn Terfel.

And despite headline-grabbing antics, like kissing Madonna onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards, posing partially nude for magazine covers and confessing about her heartbreak over her split with Justin Timberlake, her album sales are still a shadow of what they once were.

A source says, "Britney was really nervous about her album not doing well, and she knew if this album bombed her career might be over.

"She had aspirations for a film career and hoped this would kick-start it."

25/11/2003 13:23