Happy Birthday Sharon!

Today marks the birthday of one of the biggest stars of madonna-tv.com - the lovely Sharon Sheppard aka Wannabe!

Sharon turns 26 today but we're going back in time to November 2005 when madonna-tv bravely smuggled a camcorder into the taping of ITV's "Parkinson" Madonna interview special.

So here's some footage taken by madonna-tv from the front row of the ITV London Studios when Madonna and Michael Parkinson were being filmed for their TV special, along with an introduction from Sharon herself and dear friend Sean.

Everyone at all the very many madonna-tv.com offices around the world, wish Sharon a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

(madonna-tv.com, November 2005)

1993: London Girlie Show Soundcheck!

I arrived in London mid-afternoon Friday September 24th 1993 on my own. It was the first time I was gonna see Madonna in concert (next day - the opening night of The Girlie Show) and words cannot describe how excited and nervous I felt. The sun was shining - everything was perfect!

I had seen on TV before I left home that Madonna was staying at the Lanesborough Hotel somewhere near Hyde Park, so after I checked into my hotel I took a tube to Hyde Park Corner station and hoped I could find the Lanesborough easily from there. I walked up the steps from the underground station and looked across the road, immediately recognising the huge white building that I had seen on the news earlier that day - Madonna's hotel! Only one slight difference was confusing me... this building had hundreds of people standing outside it pressed up against barriers. I had been lead to believe by the media that Madonna had no fans anymore and that no-one was bothering to go to her hotel!

So I crossed over the road to join the throngs, waiting for Madonna to come outside. Within a few minutes a cheer went up and all of us waiting wondered what had happened. Madonna had left the building - but by the back door. Oh well, I still had the whole weekend in front of me!

As the crowds dispersed I overheard some fans talking about Madonna having left the hotel for Wembley Stadium. I asked if I could tag along and so we all got a tube train to Wembley.

It would've been around 6pm now - and what greeted me at Wembley was just mind-blowing, for someone who since his early teenage years had only dreamed of getting somewhere close to the real Madonna in action! She was here and she was doing the final rehearsal for her new world tour - and I could hear it! Not only that, but if I used the zoom on my camcorder, I could SEE the words GIRLIE SHOW in the distance!

The video below is an excerpt of what I saw and heard that evening!

(madonna-tv.com, September 1993)

1993: More MTV Girlie Show Backstage...

Throughout the week following Madonna's Girlie Show opening concerts in London, MTV-Europe reported on the tour's progress including items about the cancellation of the Frankfurt concert.

Here's some of their news reports, featuring more of Steve Blame's backstage interview with Chris Ciccone, footage of Madonna on stage at Wembley and a backstage interview with Madonna's Wembley support act, the Maverick-signed band U.N.V.

(MTV-Europe, September 1993)

1993: MTV Backstage @ Girlie Show London

were the only TV channel given backstage access to the Wembley Stadium Girlie Show concerts on Saturday 25th September and Sunday 26th September 1993.

This indepth report was filed by Steve Blame and features his exclusive backstage interviews with Niki Haris, Donna DeLory, Christopher Ciccone, Rob Saduski, Carlton Wilborn and others!

The report features lots of footage from the opening night gig, but watch on afterwards for an extra clip of "Fever" shown only on "News at Night" on Monday September 27th 1993.

(MTV-Europe, September 1993)

1993: GMTV on The Girlie Show Opener

Contrasting greatly with Madonna's two previous UK tours, her 1993 Girlie Show concerts gained virtually no coverage on UK network TV.

Only ITV's GMTV breakfast show gave the briefest of mentions the morning after the concerts began.

(GMTV, September 1993)

1993: Girlie Show Opening Night Report

Sky News reports on the world premiere of Madonna's Girlie Show tour at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday September 25th 1993.

This report broadcast the following morning includes footage of "Vogue" from the concert as well as comments from fans who attended and clips of Madonna arriving at her post-show party.

(Sky News, September 1993)

1993: Neil Fox on Madonna's Demise!

Here's another taste of the UK media's approach to Madonna's London concerts in 1993.

This time, Sky News presenter Tania Bryer introduces a report about Madonna's alleged lukewarm reception in the UK, followed by an interview with radio DJ & TV personality Neil Fox who gives his thoughts on poor Madonna's demise! This was broadcast the morning before the opening of The Girlie Show tour.

Watch out for a nice clip of Madonna performing "Express Yourself" at Wembley Stadium in 1990!

(Sky News, September 1993)

1993: Madonna in London, no fans anymore?

I remember watching these GMTV reports on the morning of Friday September 24th 1993. Later that day I would travel to London myself and for the first time in my life, see Madonna in the flesh!

The UK media had a definite angle for all reporting about Madonna's London concerts in 1993 - their angle was that Madonna was now "old news" - her career was over apparantly! Reports on TV and in the papers concentrated on the differences between the amount of fans at her hotel for this tour and what had happened in 1987 and 1990 on her previous UK tours. Of course facts like this was September - with people back at schools and colleges, while in 87 & 90 the visits were in the middle of Summer - were conveniently ignored!

As I would discover myself when I arrived in London later this very day, there's often a very big difference between what the media report and reality! I'll be showing you some of my own footage to prove this point later...

(GMTV, September 1993)

1993: Madonna in London for Girlie Show

Tuesday September 21st 1993 sees Madonna arrive in London 4 days before the World Premiere of her Girlie Show tour at Wembley Stadium.

Here's a short report from MTV-News the day after, focusing on the apparant lack of fans who greeted Madonna on her arrival!

(MTV-Europe, September 1993)

1993: Niki on the upcoming Girlie Show Tour

Niki Haris enjoyed chart success in 1993 as lead vocalist on some of Snap!'s biggest hits.

In August 1993 she came to Europe to promote her Snap! work and here she is on MTV-Europe performing "Exterminate" live!

She's interviewed after the performance about her upcoming role on Madonna's Girlie Show tour which was just over 1 month away at the time!

(MTV-Europe, August 1993)

1993: Niki Haris on Possible Madonna Tour

Rumours flew around in early 1993 that Madonna would tour that year, but this interview with backing singer Niki Haris on MTV-Europe in May 1993 was my first real confirmation that a tour was happening!

Here, Niki reveals that Madonna has asked her to participate in either a fullscale tour or possibly a short run of concerts and she tells how she plans to return from Europe to New York to hopefully work further on this!

(MTV-Europe, May 1993)


Earlier today we saw Tonybecks' cartoon alter-ego Batfink in action; now on Tony's birthday it's time for the real McCoy!

Here for the first time, watch the legendary Tonybecks filmed exclusively by Madonna-TV front row at Madonna's Confessions Tour in Wembley Arena, London.

The date was August 15th 2006 and Jonas Ackerlund's 35mm movie camera crew (who can also be spotted in this clip) were there to film the show for the official Confessions Tour DVD.

Watch closely for a special cameo appearance by the star of many a previous Madonna-TV exclusive, Sharon Sheppard (aka Wannabe). Listen out too for the voice of Madonna-TV Jamesy!

Once again - Happy Birthday Tony!

(madonna-tv.com, August 2006)

Happy Birthday Batfink!

Madonna-tv's very own Batfink Barton celebrates his birthday today!

To mark this occaision - here's a classic "Batfink's Unhappy Birthday" episode. I hope of course that Tony's birthday is anything but unhappy!

Happy Birthday you gorgeous adorable gentleman!!!

(Many Happy Returns!)


If you're in the UK then today May 6th 2010, make sure you get up and VOTE in the General Election (preferably not for David Cameron)!

To get you in the mood, here's Madonna in 1990 flanked by Blond Ambition Tour dancers Jose & Luis, telling you to do just that...

(Rock The Vote, October 1990)

1987: Who's That Girl Tour Roundup

Yes, the 1987 Who's That Girl Tour is my favourite Madonna tour. I think it's the only tour she's done which really gets the balance right between theatre and rock concert. Don't get me wrong - I love lots of her other tours (hate a couple!), but Who's That Girl was never bettered in my opinion!

This is a feature shown in 1988 from MTV-News about the tour - split into 4 mini-reports: Japan, Miami, New York and Italy.

Great footage of Madonna's opening night show in Tokyo is included along with clips from her Japanese press conference at the time. Also some rare snippets of the AIDS benefit WTG concert at Madison Square Garden in New York and the USA debut of the tour at the Orange Bowl, Miami.

(MTV, 1988)

1990: Holiday Live in Houston, Texas

Another anniversary today - 20 years exactly since the Blond Ambition Tour had its USA premiere.

After a few weeks in Japan, the tour came to America on Friday May 4th 1990 with a concert at the Houston Summit arena in Texas and MTV were granted exclusive acesss to the show.

Two numbers in full from this opening concert were given to MTV for broadcast and here's one of them - "Holiday"!

(MTV, May 1990)

1993: Girlie Show Paris

Back to 1993 now and The Girlie Show!

The tour went to France at the end of September for 3 concerts at the Bercy, Paris and footage from 3 songs from the 1st show here were given to TV for broadcast.

Here then are great excerpts of "Express Yourself", "Rain" and "Vogue" performed live by Madonna on September 29th 1993!

(September 1993)

1984: Making Borderline with Louie Louie

February 12th 1984 and US TV show "Entertainment Tonight" visits Madonna on the set of her "Borderline" music video to do a feature and interview.

Madonna's "latin lover" in the video was a struggling dancer at the time called Louie Louie and by 1990 this guy was having an attempt at his own pop music career.

This is an ET report I taped from 1990 which profiled Louie Louie as he released his first single. He is interviewed about his work with Madonna (he claims the two were also lovers in real life briefly!) and ultra rare archive ET footage of the making of the Borderline video is shown.

(ET, June 1990)

1988: 1st Official Madonna Megamix Video

Long before Dan-O-Rama and AvidDiva, the first official Madonna megamix video was produced.

The Warner Bros. tape I have for this 11-minute megamix is dated January 28th 1988, but it's reasonable to assume the clip was atually created in late 1987 - quite possibly to tie in with the release of Madonna's dance remix album "You Can Dance".

The video is a surprisingly good (for the 80s!) montage of beautiful video clips edited to an excellent audio megamix comprised mostly of 12" remixes of Madonna's songs including La Isla Bonita, Who's That Girl, Open Your Heart, Into The Groove, Papa Don't Preach, Where's The Party and Dress You Up.

Taken straight from my original WB promo tape, here it is...

(Warner Bros, January 1988)