Best - selling author and Daily Mirror writer MIRANDA SAWYER explains why Madonna's Live 8 performance proves the 47 - year - old is still the Queen of Pop.
ON A day when rock and pop veterans showed the new kids how to do it, Madonna stole the show.
Whether welcoming Birhan Woldu, the Ethiopian famine survivor saved by Live Aid's efforts, or berating VIPs in the "golden circle" in front of the stage - Lady Madge was in complete control.
All in white, an angel in strides, she led her band and dancers through an uplifting set that included Like A Prayer, Ray Of Light and Music.
Memories of a plump chick in leggings rolling about at the original Live Aid were forgotten as 21st century Madonna proved the older generation can do it better.
More than 20 years of performing means she know what she's doing and 47 years of life means she knows why.
Madonna, like Bono, understands the power of a perfect moment. And she was bold enough to seize it, combining both the Live 8 message and its medium, pop music, in a performance nobody watching will ever forget.
And it was a reminder of just how famous and special Madge still is. The girl has still got it - by the bucket - load.
Just weeks ago at the London premiere of Sin City, a red carpet paparazzi - fest where Brittany Murphy posed prettily alongside Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Michael Madsen and Jessica Alba, she stole the show.
When Her Madgesty and Guy turned up unexpectedly, it triggered a frenzy of photos. Her impromptu night out made the crowd's day and was covered in every paper.
And even the fuzziest of camera phone pictures couldn't disguise how great Madonna looked. In slick black gown, with beret, footless tights and T - bar shoes to remind us that she knows a) where fashion is at and that this wasn't her night (no upstaging premiere frock), she looked sparkly - eyed, glossy - haired and gorgeous.
Before Saturday night's breathtaking performance we were in danger of taking Madonna, a middle - aged working mother - of - two who just six years ago made London her home, for granted.
At the time, we couldn't believe it - the world's most famous woman has decided to move in with us.
Is that allowed? Shouldn't she be ensconced in some Beverly Hills enclave, some Miami mansion, New York penthouse, Cannes hideaway?
What's she doing in the UK, doing British things? Can that really be the Queen of Pop, in flat cap and baggy tracksuit, nipping along bus lanes on a bicycle?
Next thing she'll be extolling the virtues of drinking beer. Oh... "I love ale," said Madge last year. "I get drunk, but all it takes is half a pint. I'm a cheap date."
Yes, Madonna has fitted in just fine, adapting her efficient US habits to the UK's more relaxed way of life. When I interviewed her in 2000, she bemoaned British slackness - "At six o'clock, everyone goes home and no one works at the weekend and people go away for a month in the summer," she said, incredulously. But she also admired the way we enjoy "music and art and literature and nature".
Now, ever the culture sponge, she's taken on our characteristics. So we see Madonna going hunting (boo), going to a public gym (hooray) and writing children's books (hmmm).
A combination of a British marriage and British environment has changed her from distant superstar into a high - achiever who knows her way around, one who combines American drive with UK humour and a European appreciation of life's joys.
She's part of the British furniture these days. But has this familiarity bred contempt? Have we stopped caring what Madonna is up to? Judging by the crowd's reaction at Live 8, the answer is no - she's still one of the world's brightest, shiniest most talented celebrities.
A star who's famous because she's achieved more than any of us could ever imagine - unlike the wannabes wh hit the headlines after a drunken fumble with Calum Best.
Even in the short time she's been here, Madonna has produced a lifetime's work. She's released two albums, written four children's books, made one film with her husband and another with cult director Jonas Akerlund. She's starred in a West End play and progressed to the Third Series in Ashtanga yoga, which makes her one of the most advanced yogis in Britain. Enough to make you want to sit down for a cup of tea.
It's a shame her last album, American Life, was so ropey. Still, her forthcoming new one, reputedly called Defying Gravity (well, her body certainly does) is rumoured to be a return to form.
Saturday's performance was a corker, proving that with a back catalogue that Britney would kill for, a dancer's grace and a showwoman's sense of occasion, Madonna is one of the few pop stars who can pull off a stadium show.
There's been controversy about Kabbalah, a form of Judaism that's become an important part of her life since she moved to London.
And though Kabbalah seems hokum to most of us, Madonna is a devotee and if it makes her happy, what's the problem? If she's donating money to a non - violent cause, one that promotes peace, she's alright by me.
In her Re - Invention show, she showed a film of Palestinian and Israeli children holding hands.
It's not going to change any politician's mind, but it's better than pretending such problems don't exist, that it doesn't matter if the West turns its back on the Middle East.
Whatever Madonna does, she'll get attention, good or bad. She knows that, but it doesn't stop her having a go, trying new ideas.
Sometimes she succeeds, sometimes she fails. But she doesn't stop trying.
Live 8 proves her star still shines and reminds us how lucky we are to have her.
Arabic Countries/Middle East
Live 8 coverage started at 13:00hrs GMT on Arabic satellite station
MBC4. MBC is a large, pan - Arab, news and entertainment channel, which
can be received in many countries across the world.
In Argentina, radio station FM 95.9 Rock & Pop will be broadcasting the
Live 8 concerts, to go alongside the MTV Latin American broadcasts.
MTV Southeast Asia will be broadcasting the event on Sunday July 3, from
14:00hrs and 19:00hrs, Monday July 4, from 14:00hrs, and Tuesday July 5,
In Australia, Foxtel will be screening the entire event on the 2nd July
from 9:30pm AEST to 10am AEST. They'll also have a highlights show in
the week after the event. For free - to - air viewers, the 9 network will
have a highlights package on July 3rd at 8:30pm AEST.
ATV+ channel will broadcast Live 8 starting at 4.00pm, but the ending is
not scheduled. Presumably it will broadcast the whole event.
In Belgium, pay television BETV channel BE 1 will broadcast Live 8
starting at 4pm and providing 11 hours of coverage, ending at 3am.
Belgian channel jim - tv will broadcast the whole concert live, starting
the broadcast at 4pm and going until 2 AM (local time, so GMT +1hr).
jim - tv is not pay television, so everybody with cable should be able to
MTV Brazil will be showing Live 8 live, starting at 9 AM local time.
They have updated their schedule, and it will now be a 12 hour, non - stop
broadcast, finishing at 9pm.
CTV plans to broadcast from the beginning, going live early on Saturday,
July 2 when the first act takes to the stage overseas, and continuing
until the last act finishes at Live 8 Canada, sometime around 8 p.m. ET.
CTV also plans to air a "Greatest Hits" recap in primetime following the
conclusion of the live broadcast with highlights from the most memorable
performances of the day from around the world.
Croatian TV channel HRT Plus will broadcasts Live 8 starting on 2nd July
at 2.00pm and ending 3rd July at 1.00am.
For the Republic of Cyprus, CyBC 2 will broadcast the concert live, from
17:00hrs (Saturday) to 04:00hrs (Sunday) local times.
In Northern Cyprus, Live 8 is being aired by NTV Channel, starting from
5:00pm local time.
Czech channel TV2 will broadcast Live 8 starting at 3.00pm ending at
01.00am the following morning.
DR1 and DR2 channels will broadcast Live 8 starting at 4.00pm, and
ending at 2.00am.
Satellite and cable channel Euronews will broadcast the entire event,
with news breaks every 15 minutes, all day.
Finnish TV channel YLE 2 will broadcast full coverage of Live 8.
In France, M6 television, MTV France, and NRJ Radio will broadcast Live
8. With the exception of M6. From 2:50pm to 3:50pm, they are showing
live footage from Hyde Park, from 5:40pm to 7:50pm, then 8:05pm to
8:50pm, live footage from Versailles, and from 11:25pm, best moments
from all the concerts.
All the German broadcasters currently state that they will show selected
artists from the Berlin, London, Paris and Rome concerts. The Berlin TV
station RBB will broadcast between 14:00 and 19:30. Another problem is
that you Can't receive this program in all parts of Germany. TV channel
SWR will broadcast between 14:00 and 18:00 but again might be just the
Berlin concert. ARD, which represent all German regional broadcasters,
gave the following time slots for their regional broadcasters:
RBB: 14:00 - 19:25 CET
WDR: 14:00 - 17:50 CET
HR: 21:50 - 01:20 CET
MDR: 14:00 - 17:30 CET
ARD will also be showing "Live 8 - Concert highlights from Berlin,
London, Rome, Paris and Philadelphia" on July 3rd, between 01:35 - 05:25
Finally, it's been told that Phoenix will broadcast Live 8 from 2pm
MEGA Channel in Greece will eventually broadcast the whole event on
Sunday 3th July at 21.00 local time until the following morning.
VH1 India will broadcast 12 hours of Live 8 footage, showcasing
highlights from all the event venues.
MTV Indonesia will broadcast Live 8 from 14:30hrs, on Sunday July 3, and
from 00:00hrs on Monday July 4.
In Israel, Channel 10 TV will broadcast the entire event, all 11 hours,
from the afternoon into the early dawn. The broadcast will start at 5pm
local time (3pm GMT) and end at 4am local time (2pm GMT).
In Italy, Rai Tre channel will broadcast Live 8, with their programmes
at 14.35 - 18.55, 20.00 - 23.05, and 23.25 - 01.05. The Live8 concerts
will also be broadcasted in Italy on satellite by SKY, channel 109. It
will be an interactive channel, so you will be able to "jump" from one
concert to another whenever you like... you can also have 4 windows open
at the same time (so you can watch the five stages at one time). The
broadcast will start at 2.00 pm (Italian time) and runs until midnight.
CS Fuji Sky PerfecTv! channel 721 (channel ident FUJITV721) will
broadcast Live 8 on 2nd July, starting from 22:00 till around 11:00
MTV Latin America has confirmed that they will have the Live 8 show,
live. Exact schedule and concert coverage details aren't known at this
In Malaysia, their friendly neighbourhood cable operator, Astro, is
setting up a special channel - Channel 88 - for the Live 8 event, which
will run from 9pm on the 2nd of July (Malaysian time) till 9 am the next
day or thereabouts.
Malta's SUPER1 television has just announced that all of the Hyde Park
Live 8 concert will be transmitted live. Live Transmissions will start
around 13.00pm including pre show interviews etc., and continue to
transmit the show until the end. Super 1 TV transmits nationwide and on
Cable, and digital terrestrial. It will also stream live the whole
concert on their website.
In The Netherlands VARA and BNN will broadcast 11 Hours live on
television from Live 8 on the channel Nederland 3 (NED3). It will also
be on Dutch Radio 3FM.
Live 8 will be broadcast live in New Zealand on channel TV2 from 2am
Sunday 3rd July until 12 noon.
In Norway, the TV station NRK (1 & 2) will broadcast the entire event.
They will be broadcasting BBC's production. So far they're expected to
be broadcasting from around 4pm on Saturday until the whole thing ends
twelve, or more, hours later. So if you're in Norway, you won't miss a
Live 8 will be shown in Pakistan on the local music channel "The Musik".
The timings are 6:00pm (Pakistan Standard Time) on July 2, 2005.
Complete 11 hours non - stop concert coverage will be shown.
MTV Philippines will be showing Live 8 from 20:00hrs on Sunday July 3,
and from 00:00hrs on Monday July 4.
Polish TV channels TVN and TVN Siedem [TVN7] will be broadcasting Live8:
- TVN from 15:55 - 19:00 and from 23:15
- TVN7 from 19:00 - 23:15
In Portugal, television channels Rtp 1 and Rtp 2 will broadcast Live 8
starting at 3.30pm.
In Romania, Tv k lumea (formerly known as Atomic tv) will be
broadcasting 11 hours of Live 8. As yet, we don't know the exact time of
In Russia, Live 8 is being aired by channel NTV, with the programme
starting at 6:00pm local time. No further details are currently known.
Also, 1TV (Channel 1 Russia) will broadcast Live 8 in Moscow at 21.00pm
CET, ending at 0.30am CET, July 3.
Slovenija 2 (SLO 2) TV channel will broadcast Live 8 at 3.00pm, and
ending at 2.00am.
TVE La 2 will broadcast the event on 2nd July, from 16:00 - 18:15, and
from 21:00 - 03:00, which probably means that the second part won't be
SVT 1 and SVT 2 will broadcast Live 8, using the BBC feed, as is
happening in Norway. Here's how the schedule is split:
SVT1 16:00 - 18:15
SVT2 18:15 - 21:00
SVT1 21:00 - 00:00
SVT2 00:00 - 03:00
SF2 (german language TV), between 15.00hrs - 17.30hrs, and from
22.35hrs, will broadcast live and recorded segments from London.
For Thailand there will be live TV coverage of Live 8 on UBC satellite
on Channel 21 exclusively. There will also be coverage on MTV Thailand
on Sunday July 3, at 2000hrs, and Monday July 4, at 1500hrs.
In Turkey, Live 8 is being aired by NTV Channel, starting from 5:00pm
local time. In other Turkish broadcast news, Dinamo FM radio will air 11
hours of live coverage of the concerts.
Satellite radio station XM will be bringing the entire Live 8 event to
the US, as it happens. Global coverage of Live 8 starts at 7am ET on
Live Global Coverage - XM Channel 40
London - XM Channel 41
Philadelphia - XM Channel 42
Berlin - XM Channel 43
Rome - XM Channel 44
Paris - XM Channel 45
Toronto - XM Channel 46
The UK coverage runs from 9am - 3pm ET on XM channels 41 and 201, with
onstage and backstage access.
Worldwide - BBC World
Sadly the BBC only has the rights to broadcast the concert in the UK, so
none of the concert will be shown on their worldwide satellite channel,
UK BBC Television
2 July: Live 8 Live
BBC TWO, 1.00 - 4.00pm
BBC ONE, 4.00 - 9.30pm (approx)
2 July: Live 8 Crosses the Atlantic
BBC ONE, 10.00pm (approx) to 3.00am (approx)
2 July: Live 8 Reloaded
BBC THREE, 7.00pm - 5.00am