Jane McDonald

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Jane McDonald
Jane Anne McDonald

(1963-04-04) 4 April 1963 (age 58)
OccupationActress, songwriter, singer, media personality, presenter
Years active1998–present
TelevisionStar for a Night (1999–2001)
Loose Women (2004–14, 2015)
Star Treatment (2013)
Cruising with Jane McDonald (2017–)
Jane and Friends (2017–20)
Holidaying with Jane McDonald (2020)
Spouse(s)Henrik Brixen (1998–2003)
Partner(s)Walter "Ed" Rothe (2008–2021; his death)

Jane Anne McDonald (born 4 April 1963)[1] is an English singer, songwriter and television presenter. Born and raised in Wakefield, McDonald spent much of her early career performing in local clubs and pubs before landing work as a singer on cruise ships. McDonald became known to the public in 1998 following her appearance on the BBC show The Cruise.[2]

The same year, her debut album Jane McDonald topped the UK Albums Chart and remained there for 3 weeks. Since this, McDonald has released a number of studio albums in addition to performing in live concerts and her own tours at venues across the UK, including the Royal Albert Hall and the London Palladium, as well as at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In 2015, McDonald performed the role of Grizabella in the musical Cats in Blackpool.

McDonald has also co-presented a number of daytime shows, including Loose Women between 2004 and 2014, and the ITV programme Star Treatment in 2013. Her TV travel show Cruising with Jane McDonald, which debuted in 2017 on Channel 5, has spawned more than 7 series and earned her a British Academy Television Award. She has also presented her own shows Jane & Friends and Holidaying with Jane McDonald on Channel 5.


McDonald was born in Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire.[3] After becoming popular with viewers on Chris Terrill's docusoap The Cruise, she was taken on by independent record label Focus Music International[4] to make a covers album[5] and a Christmas single. The album Jane McDonald, spent three weeks at Number 1 in the UK Albums Chart, while the single "Cruise into Christmas" (a medley of Christmas classics) reached the UK Singles Chart Top 10.[6]

After her number one success on an independent, McDonald signed a major-label recording contract with UMTV (Universal's catalogue and compilations division),[7][8] and began to carve out a mainstream showbiz career, first as a guest presenter on BBC's National Lottery.

In 1998, she married Henrik Brixen, a ship's plumbing engineer, who later became her manager. Their whirlwind romance was detailed in a special edition of Terrill's docusoap, called The Cruise Special: Jane Ties the Knot,[9] which was broadcast on BBC One on 10 July 1998. Brixen later admitted that he did not understand the music industry, and the couple split in 2003, largely for the sake of her career.[10]

Beginning in 2004, McDonald was 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. Although an Australian tour never developed into anything official, she proceeded to tour the United Kingdom in 2011. She permanently left the series in January 2014 to focus on her music career. She continues to tour the UK with her solo shows & has introduced Christmas themed arena shows into her work schedule.[11]

In 2008, McDonald was reunited with musician Eddie Rothe, an old acquaintance from her teenage years and a member of The Searchers. They became engaged on 24 December 2008 after Rothe proposed.[10] Rothe died of lung cancer on 26 March 2021.[12]

Cruising with Jane McDonald won the 2018 BAFTA Award for Best Feature, making it the first win for a Channel 5 show.[13]



Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
Jane McDonald[14] 1
Inspiration[A] 6
Love at the Movies[B]
  • Released: 15 October 2001
  • Label: Universal Music TV
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
You Belong to Me
  • Released: 24 January 2005
  • Label: DMG TV
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
  • Released: 11 August 2008
  • Label: JMD
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
The Singer of Your Song
  • Released: 14 September 2014
  • Label: JMD
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Hold the Covers Back
  • Released: 3 November 2017
  • Label: JMD
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Cruising with Jane McDonald
  • Released: 22 June 2018
  • Label: Channel 5 Broadcasting
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Cruising with Jane McDonald: Volume Two
  • Released: 28 October 2020
  • Label: Channel 5 Broadcasting
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Let the Light In
  • Released: 20 August 2021
  • Label: JMD
  • Formats: Digital download, CD

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details
The Collection
  • Released: April 2003
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Because You Loved Me
  • Released: August 2007
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Just for You[C]
  • Released: October 2010
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
Is It Love You're After[D]
  • Released: March 2014
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
  • Released: September 2014
  • Formats: Digital download, CD

Live albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Live at the London Palladium[E]
  • Released: October 2010
  • Formats: Digital download, CD

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
From Me to You (limited edition)
  • Released: September 2006
  • Formats: Digital download, CD


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Cruise Into Christmas Medley" 1998 10 Non-album single
"You're My World" Jane McDonald
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" 2000 Love at the Movies
"The Hand That Leads Me" 2001 Inspiration
"Doctors Orders" 2008 Jane
"It's Getting Better" 2010 Non-album single
"The Singer Of Your Song" 2014 Singer of Your Song
"Dance Yourself Dizzy (7th Heaven Mirrorball Radio Edit)"[15] 2016 Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • Jane McDonald in Concert (1999)
  • Jane McDonald Live in Las Vegas (2001)
  • Being Jane (filmed 2005)
  • The Very Best of Loose Women (2008)
  • Late Night With The Loose Women (2009)
  • Jane McDonald – Live at the London Palladium (18 October 2010)
  • Jane McDonald - A Live Christmas Concert Special (15 November 2019) (Reached number 2 in the DVD music charts) Directed by Julian Smith. Produced by Jane McDonald & Martin Hudson


  • Jane McDonald – Follow Your Dreams, Autobiography, 2000
  • Jane McDonald – Riding The Waves: My Story, Autobiography, Virgin Books, 31 Oct 2019


  1. ^ Co-produced by Ted Carfrae and Jamel Badaoui.
  2. ^ Co-produced by David Sandcastle.
  3. ^ Four-track CD available from concerts.
  4. ^ Four-track CD available from concerts.
  5. ^ Live recording of the DVD.


  1. ^ "Jane McDonald: 7 facts about the cruise singer and TV presenter. She was famous on I'm a celebrity 2019". Smooth Radio. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Extract from BBC The Cruise docusoap". BBC. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  3. ^ "My Yorkshire: Jane McDonald". The Yorkshire Post. Yorkshire Post Newspapers. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  4. ^ https://www.focus-music.com
  5. ^ "Jane McDonald Album".
  6. ^ a b c d "Jane McDonald". Official Charts. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Introducing: Universal Music on Demand". 9 August 2016.
  8. ^ https://universalmusicondemand.com
  9. ^ "Broadcast - BBC Programme Index".
  10. ^ a b Amy Hunt (29 March 2019). "Jane McDonald reveals that her second husband left her in order to save her career: 'It wasn't my decision'". Woman magazine. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  11. ^ "'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.
  12. ^ Yeates, Cydney (7 April 2021). "Jane McDonald's partner Ed Rothe dies after lung cancer battle". Metro. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  13. ^ Dosani, Rishma (28 February 2020). "Jane McDonald quits Cruising With Jane McDonald and our hearts are sinking". Metro. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  14. ^ Jones, Alan (29 June 2018). "Charts analysis: Greatest Showman set to surpass Adele's record-breaking run at top". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Jane McDonald - Dance Yourself Dizzy (7th Heaven Mirrorball Radio Edit) available digitally worldwide from iTunes, Amazon and all digital stores". YouTube. Jane McDonald Official YouTube Channel. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2021.

External links[edit]