Madonna flew into a rage when two backstage workers at the 1991 OSCARS made errors affecting the perfectionist singer, according to an explosive new book.

Film journalist STEVE POND has exposed the MATERIAL GIRL's diva-like behaviour in his new book THE BIG SHOW: HIGH TIMES AND DIRTY DEALINGS BACKSTAGE AT THE Academy Awards.

Pond claims a female camera operator was seriously injured after falling off the stage into the orchestra pit while Madonna was preparing to rehearse her DICK TRACY tune SOONER OR LATER to the celebrity-packed audience.

But instead of expressing concern, the pop legend was enraged when she was informed her performance had been delayed by the mishap - and reportedly commented, "But she's just lying there. Can't we just do this?"

The situation got worse when a technician fell asleep and ruined a planned stunt which was supposed to involve her microphone appearing out of nowhere.

Pond recalls in the tome due out next month (JAN05), "(Madonna launched) into an astonishingly profane tirade, despite the fact that the area below the stage was also occupied by a group of children.

"Furious, she grabbed (the bearer of the bad news) around the neck and lifted him bodily off the ground, not relinquishing her grip until the trapdoor opened and she began to rise."

23/12/2004 17:41