Singer-turned-children's author Madonna failed in her quest to give the London launch of her new book a maternal atmosphere.

The LIKE A VIRGIN singer struggled to create an easy-going vibe at the ROOF GARDENS in Kensington yesterday (14SEP03) as she was surrounded by journalists asking questions about her new book The English Roses.

Joining Madonna at the launch was a host of celebrities, including fashion designer Stella Mccartney, celebrated novelist MARTIN AMIS and her children LOURDES and ROCCO.

An insider says, "She was trying to be maternal, which is impossible when you are surrounded by minders.

"She held a microphone and said, 'I like children much more than I like big people.' But she didn't mingle with her guests."

15/09/2003 17:14