Enjoying the autumnal sunshine of a peaceful Swan Valley vineyard is a far cry from Angela Jacobsen’s former life in the heart of the frenetic, jet-set world of pop superstar Madonna.
Ms Jacobsen was nanny to Madonna’s son David Banda for 18 months after the singer adopted the little boy from Malawi four years ago.
Now back in her native Australia, Ms Jacobsen looks back on the surreal experience of a globe-trotting life with Madonna that saw entertained in Indian palaces, go to remote islands accessible only by seaplane and join the pop queen’s world tour for six months.
“It’s great to look back on now and reflect on. When you’re living in the bubble, it’s a lot more daunting. It was an amazing experience,” the 32-year-old said.
Ms Jacobsen was a nanny for former Swedish tennis player Thomas Johansson in London where the Swede was playing at Wimbledon when she got the call from her Australian agency that Madonna was looking for a nanny.
She describes the telephone interview with Madonna as “the most intimidating interview of my life”.
The nanny talks fondly of “super cute” David Banda, her young charge who had just arrived from Malawi as a 13-month-old when Ms Jacobsen started taking care of him. The Hawthorn tragic wasted no time in introducing the African boy to Aussie rules and giving him a Hawthorn top to wear.
“It was his favourite jumper. Hawthorn Football Club obviously saw him photographed in that and sent me over some more kit and a grand final DVD. So we watched the grand final together. He was right into it. He thought Buddy (Hawthorn player Lance Franklin) was great. He used to wear his Australian rules kit to his soccer matches which was quite cute,” she said.
But when it comes to her famous boss, Ms Jacobsen is more guarded in her comments.
“She was a great boss and I mean it was obviously quite a full-on experience. She was fantastic to work for and a big motivation for me. She’s very much a loving mother,” Ms Jacobsen said.
“I saw a different side to her on a personal note, how hard she works. I watched this girl power: you can do anything you want and there is no such thing as the word no. There is a way to get around that word at every opportunity.”
Ms Jacobsen’s departure from the world of Madonna made international headlines in 2010 amid reports she was sacked by an angry Madonna after she handed in her notice.
But Ms Jacobsen said she left because David was to have a French-speaking nanny like his brother and sister.
Now Ms Jacobsen is making a whole career off the back of her job with one of the world’s most famous pop stars. She runs her own agency and has just published a book called Baby Love, which is an A-Z collection of childcare tips from her 15 years as a nanny.
There are also plans for a “Supernanny” series on Australian television and a column in a Chinese newspaper.
See Angela’s interview on Today Tonight, Friday, 6.30pm, Channel Seven.