Lost in London

A look at London and life in general through the eyes of someone who sometimes can't bear to watch.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bittersweet goodbye

I’m finding the current spate of celebrity divorce coverage very depressing and boring. One of the ‘headlines’ today has concerned itself with the news that Guy Ritchie is not expected to attempt to walk away from his marriage to Madonna with any of his wife’s fortune. The showbiz reporter was practically salivating like a bulldog eyeing a steak as she stood knock-kneed and clueless outside the High Court with that lawyer woman who’s always on telly whenever someone gets divorced. You know the one, looks a but like Vanessa Feltz.

Once they had finished deconstructing Madonna’s 7-year marriage into a soundbite they started on another ‘celebrity’ divorce, this time some guy who owns Formula 1 and his wife, who I wouldn’t be able to pick out of a line-up even if she were wearing a name badge. Apparently Bernie Ecclestone is worth a zillion trillion dollars and his wife stands to gain, er, some of it thanks to some trust or another that is set up in her name. As this useless information was imparted to me, I stood agog, incredulous that there is anyone alive who cares that two people who I can not place are splitting up. I love a bit of trashy celeb goss every now and again, but this story was so witless and point-free, I wanted to kill my television. As the presenter, by now highly excited by the prospect of yet another divorce hearing to flick her bean to, concluded her piece to camera she zinged “Now that’s what I call a showbud, um, showbiz divorce!” I turned away from the TV in disgust.

It’s interesting how Madonna has been portrayed throughout the coverage of her split. Humourless, fastidious, and sexless, Madonna has suffered the modern-day equivalent of being dragged through the village green to the stocks. The trouble is, it’s all so believable. She comes across as such a macrobiotic android in interviews, it's hard to imagine her being fun. The tone was set on the day the divorce was about to be made official. A showbiz reporter from a leading tabloid appeared on breakfast TV and said how Guy was the kind of bloke you’d love to go to the pub with. He then went on to use the words ‘bloke’ and ‘pub’ in reference to Guy a further three or four times. The message here is “Guy’s just like us, everyone!”, along with “Madonna’s a miserable old cow!”. I realise it’s the done thing in the press these days to hate women and blame them for everything that goes on in their lives and, believe me, my days of Madonna fandom are long dead, but I can’t help but feel the tarring of Madge as a superannuated witch who kept free spirit Guy under lock and key is a little too obvious, convenient and indicative of the press’s attitude to famous women. We’ll probably never know the truth but, as John Sergeant will tell you, it really does take two to tango. I’m sure even an old heartless harridan like Madonna is more than a little sad that this particular dance is over.