Three days ago in London's Sunday Times there was an interview with Madonna by Dan Cairns so good, so filled with nice detail that it's difficult to find a best section to excerpt. The talk took place in one of the singer's two six-story adjoining mansions in central London, two of those "standard-issue London mansions – that is, way beyond the standards most of us are accustomed to," he writes.
Once inside, and after a long delay, the interview "finally gets under way in Madonna’s study, an all-grey room with a Frida Kahlo painting above the huge art-deco desk, glass shelves bearing art books and family photographs, and two semi-facing armchairs, on which we sit. In the flesh, in black trousers and a sleeveless shirt, the 51-year-old is tiny, even in heels, and pretty, her face somehow more animated and readable than you expect, her features forming into butter-wouldn’t-melt or knowingly ironic expressions as she talks. Her accent is noticeably clipped, with a Queen’s English clarity, a result of the amount of time she began to spend in this country following her marriage to Guy Ritchie. For a good 10 minutes, her discomfort is visible, a hand covering her face as she answers. And when, during this initial awkwardness, I lean into the space between us to emphasise a point, I sense without any room for doubt that I have crossed an invisible line."