On the run with Madonna

                  MARATHON MAN: Tavener, far right, tries to keep up with Madonna
               
  Picture: BARRY GOMER


ROGER TAVENER gets another exclusive interview on the trot

Sometimes it pays to stay up all night. Part 2

The May Fair hotel, London (again). 6.18 am

Madonna ‘Marathon.’

It's barely light. I'm propping up the hotel bar…

To bed or breakfast. That is the question.

I don’t get a choice.

I'm on Madonna watch and, fuck me, in the mirror behind the bar, I see her limbering up for a run. Nobody knew she’d do this.

She hasn't uttered a word to anybody on this world tour. I have to chase.

I smell ‘Exclusive’.

Somehow, I get in touch with lovely Express snapper Barry Gomer, and we gamble on her route. He gets to Green Park, Piccadilly.

Fortunately, I have a black polo shirt on, so it looks like I was wearing sports gear and ready for this. As if…

I gulp my vodka and coke - fucking expensive in this place - and head off in pursuit.

Madonna, her minders and personal trainer, are across Piccadilly and already into the park.

I pray Barry’s there. This isn't going to work otherwise.

I catch Madonna’s gang. She’s hardly recognisable. Certainly not a sex symbol. No make-up. Plain, skinny, no boobs, no bum, weighs nothing. But, fuck me, she can run.

Hove in for the kill. Surprise, the best form of attack, and fire some pretty inane questions at the world's top star.

The Material girl gives me a good smile and she answers. Her huge black minder asks if he should “get rid” of me.

Madge says I'm ok and hits me with a few questions in return. We’re jogging along nicely.

She plays the game and respects my spunk for running with her. Very impressed that I haven't been to bed all night. Laughs a lot.

I ran nine kilometres with my big pal Madonna, while the other hacks were in bed. I make-up a great exclusive interview on the hoof. Built on some real words, obviously

I pull out, so to speak, after about a kilometre. We’ve had a good chat. It was fun. I've been tracking her across Europe. She probably recognised me. Whatever. I now have my words.

I've seen Barry, perfectly positioned, up front, a he’s got a load of shots.

I catch a taxi back to the hotel, little more than that kilometre away. I don't want a fucking heart attack. I'm breathless.

Barry’s sure he’s got good stuff, but it has to be developed.

Call to office…

Parry: The only time you’d fucking run is if there was a bird and a large vodka and Coke 50 yards away.

I think that’s about the measure of it.

Quick shower. Back to the bar to write it.

Parry’s phoned the May Fair to set me up with a large one. Nice touch. I already have the bird in the bag.

Again, I heighten reality. So:

I ran nine kilometres with my big pal Madonna, while the other hacks were in bed. I make-up a great exclusive interview on the hoof. Built on some real words, obviously.

My rivals are going to get roasted by their bosses after my worldie the next day.

They haven't a clue what’s coming. I don't tell them. 

As punishment, they all have to attempt to run with Madonna over the next few days.

But, too little, too late.

Dog’s already eaten dog.


© 2005-2018 Alastair McIntyre