Madonna splashes £6m on the house next door ... to turn it into a gym


Last updated at 10:07 25 January 2008


Perhaps someone should tell Madonna that walking counts as exercise, too.

The singer - famous for her punishing daily workouts - has to stroll just 20 yards from her front door to her own personal gym.

She has bought the £6million house next to her main London home and converted it into a fitness centre.

It is thought she intended to knock the two properties together to avoid being seen in her less-than-glamorous gym gear.

But she has not obtained planning permission, meaning she is forced to come out of her house and walk 20 yards down the public street every day.

Her exercise routine is so regular that crowds have started to gather on the quiet road, waiting for her inevitable appearance.

When the 49-year-old superstar emerges, she often cuts a very homely figure in sensible trainers and lycra outfits.

Yesterday, her knee-length jogging bottoms revealed two exceptionally pale shins, one of which appeared to have a mysterious groove running down it.

The singer also showed that a star is never off-duty by carrying a mobile phone with her to her workout.

Madonna might be hoping to recoup some of the £6million outlay on the converted house by saving a fortune in parking tickets.

She used to make her chauffeur wait on yellow lines outside the St John's Wood studio of her personal trainer James D'Silva twice a week while she did yoga inside.

Sadly, the local traffic wardens soon cottoned-on and the singer was hit with £2,500 in parking fines just over six months.

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Her chauffeur at first tried to plead his case with officials but soon resorted to moving the vehicle backwards and forwards constantly to avoid the fines.

After a while, Madonna - who is worth an estimated £235million - clearly decided enough was enough and stumped up the cash for the ten-bedroom Georgian house.

She and husband Guy Ritchie already own five other properties around central London, as well as homes in Wiltshire, New York and Los Angeles.

It is understood that Madonna and the 39-year-old director fought off competition from Ab Fab actress Jennifer Saunders and celebrity photographer Mario Testino to get hold of the property last June.