US television talk show host ‘Dr Phil’ McGraw has called off plans for a one-hour show that was to examine Britney Spears’ latest public meltdown.

In a statement which was posted on his website, Mr McGraw said that the pop star’s situation was ‘too intense’ for him to proceed with the programme as planned.

He did not confirm whether he planned to reschedule the show at a later date.

Britney was admitted to hospital on Thursday night after a child custody dispute with her ex-husband Kevin Federline resulted in a stand-off with police.

On Friday, a court commissioner gave sole custody of the couple’s two young sons – two-year-old Sean Preston and one-year-old Jayden James – to Federline. The commissioner also suspended Britney’s visitation rights.

Mr McGraw said that he met the troubled singer for an hour on Saturday before she left the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, California.

But some in the mental health community say that Dr Phil’s visit was going too far.

Veteran psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Sugar said: “There’s a difference between being detained involuntarily for psychological treatment and being forced to endure Dr. Phil involuntarily.”

McGraw said he was invited to the hospital by Spears’ family.