Madonna's Celebration Tour: Greatest hits show to feature more than 40 songs

Madonna's first ever greatest hits tour will be "a documentary through her vast career" that includes more than 40 songs, her musical director says.

In an exclusive interview, Stuart Price told the BBC the show draws on four decades of archive footage and studio recordings to tell the star's story.

"A greatest hit doesn't have to be a song," he said. "It can be a wardrobe, it can be a video, or a statement."

He added that Madonna was back to full strength after a summer health scare.

The superstar was found unconscious in her New York apartment in June and rushed to hospital, where she received treatment for a serious bacterial infection.

The singer later said she was "lucky to be alive", and postponed the start of the sold-out Celebration Tour from July to October.

The premiere will now take place at London's O2 Arena on Saturday.

"The person that is going to take the stage looks incredible, sounds incredible, performs incredible," said Price, reassuring fans that the 65-year-old had fully recovered.

He added that the three-month delay had been used to polish the show.

"Madonna has very high expectations of how much hard work people will put into something," he said. "It's very uncompromising - but she's equally as hard on herself.

"So when she took a break, that pause created an opportunity to further enhance the show. And I'm sure the opportunity [for her] to focus on being 100% well was greatly received as well."

Since she burst onto the UK charts with Holiday in 1984, Madonna has scored another 71 hits, including 13 number one singles.

Some, like Vogue, Like A Prayer and Ray of Light, are era-defining anthems. Others, like Live To Tell and Don't Tell Me, are beloved fan favourites. So how did they finalise the set-list?

"That was the big challenge," admitted Price. "In two hours, can you get all of it in? That's hard. But every great moment she's had, we took a bit of it."

Many hits will be played in full, some will be interpolated into other songs, and still more will be used as "bridges" between acts.

Price suggested a ballpark figure of 25 songs would be performed, with elements of 20 more appearing in some form.