||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009)|
|Born||Jane Anne McDonald
4 April 1963 
Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Occupation||Actress, singer, media personality, presenter|
|Spouse(s)||Paul (m. 1986-1987; divorced)
(m. 1998–2002; divorced)
|Partner(s)||Walter "Eddie" Rothe (2008–present)|
Jane Anne McDonald (born 4 April 1963 in Wakefield) is an English singer, actress, media personality and broadcaster, who rose to fame in 1998 after her appearance on the BBC show The Cruise. Known for her strong Yorkshire accent, she has since co-presented a number of daytime shows, including Loose Women between 2004 and 2013 and ITV programme Star Treatment in 2013.
McDonald toured many clubs in Northern England, with her father acting as her roadie. She provided all of her own equipment, which she had to replace after it was destroyed in a large bar-fight. McDonald's first position on a cruise ship was on the Black Prince, and following that, the Horizon. After her father's death, she returned to sea and began working on the Zenith. Later she was to work on the Century, where she met Henrik Brixen who was the ship's plumber. Her time on the Century was not a happy one, due to pay delays, technical difficulties, and stressful working conditions. After this she took some time off with Henrik, but was eventually tempted back to sea as a headliner on the Century's sister-ship, the Galaxy. Shortly after accepting the position, McDonald was contacted by Chris Terrill of the BBC, who asked her to be the star of his docusoap, The Cruise. The Cruise was regularly watched by 14 million viewers, and after years of hard work, she became a celebrity overnight. Her wedding to Henrik Brixen in 1998 was televised by the BBC and watched by a large audience, although the couple have since divorced.
After signing a major-label recording contract, McDonald began to carve out a mainstream showbiz career, first as a guest presenter on BBC's National Lottery and subsequently with her debut album Jane McDonald, which spent three weeks at Number 1 in the UK Albums Chart.
In 2000, McDonald released her autobiography Follow Your Dreams published by Harper Collins.
In November 2006 she began a UK tour, which featured a number of special guests including the massed voices of Sing Live UK. The tour ended on 2 November 2006. In 2007, McDonald commissioned Yorkshire fashion designer and haute couture dressmaker, Kaye Heeley, of Angel Couture, to help with the Jane McDonald Collection.
McDonald toured in 2008 beginning in Blackpool on 1 August of that year to showcase new songs from her Number 7 (UK Albums chart) album, Jane. This album was her first using her own record label.
On 9 May 2010, McDonald embarked on a 'one night only' performance at the world famous London Palladium, which was to be filmed for DVD. Among the public in the audience were Gavin and Stacey star Joanna Page, Emmerdale's James Thornton, plus Loose Women stars Kate Thornton, Lynda Bellingham, Lesley Garrett and Andrea McLean. Also there on the night were Bananarama, three of the Four Poofs and a Piano from Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and stars of Through the Keyhole, Jonathan Morris and Roland Rivron. McDonald's family were also there to support her including her mother Jean, and her fiancé Eddie Rothe. Rothe had been a member of the '60s group the Searchers from 1996–2010, he retired to spend time with her. He, also in the '70s, was a member of Liquid Gold and appeared Les Gray's band Mud.
McDonald released a cover of Liquid Gold's 1980 No. 2 hit, "Dance Yourself Dizzy", on iTunes on Sunday 22 August 2010 and it then became available from other sites such as Yahoo from 5 September 2010.
Her 2011 UK tour began with a preview night at Potters Leisure Resort in Great Yarmouth on 3 April 2011. Official opening night for the 2011 spring tour took place at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool, and finished in Peterborough on 11 June. McDonald was due to tour Australia and New Zealand in the summer of 2011, however due to her extensive tour of the UK and an hectic schedule, the Australian tour has been postponed until future notice. The UK tour then continued into the autumn, beginning on 1 September in Milton Keynes and finished on 30 October at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.
Unbeknown to many; Jane’s first TV performance, was as a guest dancer on the 1983 Black Lace video for their hit single Superman which was shot at the Casanova's night club in Wakefield, where she worked as VIP lounge manager.
Since 2004, McDonald has been a regular presenter on the ITV daytime television programme Loose Women, appearing on the show three times a week. It was confirmed on 16 July 2010 that McDonald would depart Loose Women in the summer, taking at least a year's break to concentrate on her music career and to tour Australia and New Zealand. She left at the end of the series on 6 August 2010 and returned on 16 January 2012. She quit the series in January 2014 to focus on her music career. She made her last appearance on 27 November 2013. She returned on 12 June 2015 for one episode.
McDonald appeared on a celebrity special of Ready Steady Cook. She and her fellow chef won over the audience with their dish of 'half baked carp' with a cheese sauce and claimed the cash prize. She donated all the money to Wakefield Hospice, a local charity of her home town.
McDonald appeared in a documentary called Return to... The Cruise, which celebrated the tenth anniversary of The Cruise finding out how much McDonald enjoyed her fame and success. This was shown over several nights of the week beginning 11 August 2008 on BBC Two.
She was a guest on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway on 22 March 2008, with Christopher Biggins in the game Grab the Ads playing Tarzan and Jane. On 20 July 2008, she featured on The Sunday Night Project. She also appeared on the celebrity edition of Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old? in September 2008 where she won £50,000 for the Wakefield Hospice.
Since October 2010, McDonald has been a regular contributor to The Alan Titchmarsh Show, airing on ITV. Since 10 January 2011, McDonald has narrated all three series of the Channel 4 reality show Celebrity 5 Go to.... On 14 March 2011, McDonald reviewed the daily newspapers with Kelvin MacKenzie on ITV's This Morning. On 5 July 2011, McDonald appeared as a competitor on ITV's Ten Mile Menu. The show challenged two teams to cook a three-course meal using only local produce from a ten-mile radius. Each team was made up of a professional chef and a celebrity guest. McDonald's partner was renowned chef Jun Tanaka. McDonald and Tanaka went on to win the programme by out cooking actress Terri Dwyer and professional chef Aldo Zilli.
On 16 October 2011, McDonald telephoned into ITV's The Xtra Factor from a live concert in Bridlington to stick up for contestant Samantha Brookes after a cruise ship slur to contestant Samantha Brookes by judge Gary Barlow. On 27 October 2011, a newspaper article evolving around McDonald was the "Subject Of Conversation" on that morning's episode of The Wright Stuff. McDonald phoned in after several members of the public to express her opinion about the article.
McDonald appeared in the Wicked Women concert and sang "This Is the Moment" from the Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde. In 2002, McDonald played the part of the Nurse in a run of Romeo and Juliet - The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre in London's glittering West End. She has also performed in productions in Kirkby Lonsdale and Basingstoke.
On 22 June 2012, it was announced that McDonald was to star in the 2012 tour of the West-End musical Daddy Cool as Ma Baker. The tour was cancelled due to insufficient funds.
On 22 March 2015, it was announced that McDonald had been personally selected by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber to star as the iconic lead character of Grizabella in Blackpool's 2015 Summer Revival of the smash hit west end musical "Cats" Despite being an older performer McDonald still managed to outperform younger west end veterans and secure the role after impressing Lord Webber and several other producers with an incredible audition. The show opened at Blackpool Winter Gardens on 9 July 2015 and McDonald's portrayal of Grizabella has received Positive and 5 star reviews from the media and the general public.
On 22 February 2012, McDonald hosted a Black Tie charity gala event at the Theatre Royal in Wakefield. The event was a sell out with fans coming from as far as Dunfermline and Aberdeen to the north and as far as Cornwall, Bristol, Bournemouth and Essex in the south. The evening was a huge success and raised £33,800 for the Wakefield Hospice.
- July 1998 - Jane McDonald - UK #1 (2 x platinum)
- June 2000 - Inspiration - UK #6 (Co-produced by Ted Carfrae and Jamel Badaoui, Sony BMG)
- October 2001 - Love at the Movies - UK #24 (Co-Produced by David Sandcastle, Sony BMG)
- February 2005 - You Belong to Me - UK #21
- August 2008 - Jane - UK #7
- March 2014 - Singer of Your Song
Compilation and special albums
- April 2003 - The Collection
- September 2006 - From Me to You - limited edition four track EP
- August 2007 - Because You Loved Me - compilation album
- October 2010 - Live at the London Palladium (Live recording of the DVD) - Number 31 (UK)
- October 2010 - Just for You (four track CD available from concerts)
- March 2014 - Is It Love You're After (four track CD available from concerts)
- September 2014 - Remixed compilation album
- "Cruise Into Christmas Medley" - Number 10 (UK) December 1998
- "And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going)" 2003 (UK)
- "Dance Yourself Dizzy" August 2010 (UK)
- Jane McDonald in Concert (1999)
- Jane McDonald Live in Las Vegas (2001)
- Being Jane (Special DVD only available at her concerts, The Jane McDonald Online Store, or via her management team, filmed 2005)
- The Very Best of Loose Women (2008)
- Jane McDonald - Live at the London Palladium (18 October 2010)
- Jane McDonald - Follow Your Dreams (Autobiography, 2000)
- "Researcha.co.uk - UK Company and Company Director Reports". Web.researcha.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "findmypast.co.uk". Search.findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-25.
- "Napster". Home.napster.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "The Cruise". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "Extract from BBC The Cruise docusoap". BBC. Retrieved 2015-01-06.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 338. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Angel Couture". Angel Couture. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "‘The time is right for me to step aside’: Jane McDonald quits Loose Women after 10 years". Metro. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- Official website
- Jane's fans forum
- Jane's profile at itv.com
- Discogography at Discogs
- Jane McDonald at AllMusic
- Black Lace website