The Jonathan Ross Show: Madonna Special, review: ‘fascinating to watch’
From The Telegraph:
At 56, the Queen of Pop still has presence and charisma – and possesses far more natural beauty than unflattering paparazzi photos suggest, says Isabel Mohan
Not many stars are deemed important enough to get Jonathan Ross’s orange velvet sofa all to themselves; even big Hollywood stars find themselves jostling for space with boy band members and up and coming comedians.
Madonna is the exception – there might not have been nearly as much buzz around her latest album, Rebel Heart, as there was with previous works (her new single has even been rejected by Radio 1, apparently on account of her being “too old”. Ouch), but she’s still regarded as fascinating enough for a whole hour of dedicated probing from Ross.
She and Ross are a good combination – they’re almost the same age, which means he’s interviewed her at regular intervals throughout both of their careers, so there’s a little more trust and rapport than she might have with someone less established. It means he can get away with asking the trickier questions, as well as gently ribbing her. It’s fair to say she’d never put up with that from a newspaper journalist.
He began by asking her about her recent tumble at the Brit Awards, although this already feels like old news. Far more interesting was her admission that sometimes, despite her seemingly being untouchable, she does care what people think. “There are times when what people say does get to me,” she revealed. “People think I’m an armadillo but sometimes I’m wounded by things that people say.”
She also touched briefly on her failed marriage to Guy Ritchie, which she puts down to that old showbiz chestnut of busy careers and bad timing. These days she’s single and ready to mingle. “The right man would not be intimidated by me,” she said. “I’m kind of old-fashioned and I like it when someone else makes the first move”. Imagine making the first move on Madonna – surely even the most confident man in the world would have to nip to the loo at regular intervals to give himself a pep talk.
Many of her answers to Ross’s questions felt a little scripted, but she did seem to be caught slightly off-guard when asked about the current wave of somewhat clothing-phobic popstars who’ve been influenced by her success. “It’s part of women’s evolution in the entertainment business,” was her slightly woolly answer. “Women are always being objectified by men, so I prefer to objectify myself”.
Even when she was talking in soundbites, she was fascinating to watch; still, at 56, possessing far more natural beauty than unflattering paparazzi photos suggest. While her two live performances weren’t hugely memorable, she still has presence and charisma – and the prospect of her doing what she bills as “sit-down comedy” in the future, in which she’ll tell funny stories over a few drinks with a live audience, sounds far more enticing than yet another album.