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Pop / Rock 30/01/2003

Madonna Fed Up With Britain?

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LOS ANGELES (Madonna Fans Website) - Is the love affair over between Britain and the superstar it likes to call Madge?

Recent press reports claimed adopted Londoner Madonna has decamped to Los Angeles, defeated by the dreary English weather.

British newspapers reported this month that Madonna had withdrawn her six-year-old daughter Lourdes from a London school, and quoted the singer as telling friends she was fed up with "everything that is English."

Madonna's father-in-law John Ritchie was quoted by one magazine as saying "Madonna is very happy to be out of London because the harsh winter weather was getting her down."

A spokesman for her British husband Guy Ritchie denied the reports. "They haven't moved back to LA," said Kris Thykier. "They spend roughly half their time there and half here."

True or not, the reports were met with glee in some sections of the British press. "Well, good riddance," wrote David Thomas in Wednesday's Daily Mail. "Madonna the Brit," he said, was "a classic case of the rich, crass, clueless American playing at English tradition."
How things have changed since the material girl married Ritchie - the filmmaker behind gangster flicks "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" - in December 2000 at a castle in the Scottish Highlands.

Soon, sightings of Madonna were as common as double-decker buses in London. The superstar began to sport a mild "Mockney" accent and was photographed wearing tweeds, flat caps and - a more downmarket British fashion favorite - track suits.

Madonna and Ritchie bought London house and a mansion in the English countryside , where the vegetarian star briefly took up pheasant shooting. She was even awarded her own tartan by Scottish tourist authorities as an anniversary gift.
"When Madonna fell in love with Guy Ritchie, she fell in love with everything he stood for," said Julian Linley, deputy editor of the celebrity magazine Heat. "Guy's a very British man, so it was no surprise she became passionate about our little island, too."

It has not all been smooth sailing, though. Madonna's West End acting debut, in the satire "Up For Grabs" last May, was thrashed by critics. The Independent's Paul Taylor called Madonna "stiff and untrusting," while Robert Gore-Langton in The Daily Express said she was "flat as a flounder."

Distributors decided not to release last year's "Swept Away" in Britain after the film � directed by Ritchie and starring Madonna as a spoiled socialite marooned on a deserted island � failed spectacularly in the United States.

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