Friday, 13 March 2015



The day after the Brit Awards I turned on breakfast TV as usual and to my surprise the breaking news of the day wasn’t Syria, Ukraine or even the latest revelations regarding Jimmy Saville. No, the topic that seemed to be occupying everyone's time was Madonna’s falling over.

As soon as I typed ‘Madonna’ into a search engine, the word ‘fall’ appeared right next to it. Overnight the yellow press did its job and Madonna’s spectacular tumble went viral. There was speculation as to what caused the unfortunate incident and who was to blame, followed by brutal hashtag remarks like #NoCape, #shefellover and #whiplash. (As it turned out her cape wouldn’t get undone at the key moment, and she was pulled off the stairs and fell on her back.)

I must admit, I was mesmerised. For 15 whole minutes I regressed into being a teenager again, hungry for cheap gossip and bad journalism.
Disgusted with myself, I shut down the laptop went about my usual morning routine. Somewhere between a toast with honey and applying mascara, I remembered that I still haven’t seen the footage of the whole song, which was why I started the search in the first place.

I turned the laptop back on and started searching for the footage of the whole song. Interestingly, it was a lot harder to find as the whole population of Internet went crazy over those 30 unfortunate seconds out of Madonna’s life.

Eventually I found what I was looking for. The footage of the song was over five minutes while the fall – only 30 seconds. As I was watching her fall ‘in context’ of the whole performance, I suddenly saw a completely different picture.

I saw a strong woman fall. It was a dangerous fall, with a thud. But I also saw her get up and jump back straight into the song. It was obvious she was in pain but she carried on her routine. And she finished her performance beautifully.

As I was watching her panting at the end of the song I couldn’t help but wonder, what was going through her head in those disastrous seconds? What did it cost her to get up? Did she consider stopping the song altogether?

She could’ve stopped and walked off the stage but she didn’t. She got up, undid the cape and picked up exactly where she left off. She was hurt physically but her spirit was intact; she showed class, determination and professionalism.  

So in the space of 30 seconds Madonna became my hero. I might not be a huge fan of her music, I might not always understand her work or agree with her. But that morning, before 8am over my coffee, she helped me to learn one of the most important lessons.

We all make mistakes, we all fall now and then. But the real trick is to bounce back and get moving again. Because it’s not about how badly we fall, it’s how quickly we get up.

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