Jane McDonald

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Jane McDonald
Born Jane Anne McDonald
(1963-04-04) 4 April 1963 (age 55)[1]
Wakefield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Occupation Actress, singer, media personality, presenter
Years active 1985–present
Television Star for a Night (1999–2001)
Loose Women (2004–14, 2015, 2018–)
Star Treatment (2013)
Cruising with Jane McDonald (2017–)
Jane and Friends (2017–)
Spouse(s) Paul (m. 1986-1987)
Henrik Brixen
(m. 1998–2002)
Partner(s) Walter "Eddie" Rothe (2008—)
Children None
Website Official website

Jane Anne McDonald (born 4 April 1963)[2][3] is an English singer, actress, media personality and broadcaster, who became known to the public in 1998 after her appearance on the BBC show The Cruise.[4][5] Known for her Yorkshire accent, she has since co-presented a number of daytime shows, including Loose Women between 2004 and 2014, ITV programme Star Treatment in 2013 and British Academy Television Award winning Cruising with Jane McDonald from 2017.



McDonald was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in April 1963. She 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 Brixen but was eventually tempted back to sea as a headliner on the Century's sister-ship, the Galaxy.

Shortly after accepting the position, at the age of 35, 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. 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.[6]

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,[7] 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 London Palladium, which was to be filmed for DVD. Among the public in the audience were Gavin & 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 Rowland Rivron.

McDonald released a cover of Liquid Gold's 1980 No. 2 hit "Dance Yourself Dizzy" on iTunes on Sunday 22 August 2010; it then became available from other sites on 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 a hectic schedule, the Australian tour was postponed until future notice.[needs update] The UK tour then continued into the autumn, beginning on 1 September in Milton Keynes and finishing on 30 October at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.

She took a break from touring in 2012 but toured again in 2013.[citation needed]

Her 2014 tour, "The Singer Of Your Song", was a country-wide success, with many performances selling out in the UK.[citation needed]

McDonald spent 2016 touring with her show "Making Memories". The show received 5-star reviews on its two preview nights in Woking and Blackpool.[citation needed] McDonald performed the show for three nights in Cyprus in July 2016. The autumn tour for the show ran throughout September and October 2016.

Due to popular demand, her "Making Memories" tour continued to tour throughout the summer of 2017.

2018 sees McDonald celebrating 20 years as a professional singer and entertainer, therefore, in the summer of 2018, she is touring the UK with her show "The 20th Anniversary Tour".


McDonald’s first TV performance was as a guest dancer on the 1983 Black Lace video for their single Superman, which was shot at the Casanova's night club in Wakefield, where she worked as VIP lounge manager.


McDonald presented the BBC television programme Star for a Night, which helped launch the singer Joss Stone and also contained the first appearance of 2008's X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.[citation needed]

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. She left at the end of the series on 6 August 2010 and returned on 16 January 2012. She permanently left the series in January 2014 to focus on her music career.[8] She made her last appearance on 13 December 2013. She returned on 12 June 2015 for one episode and has returned as a guest on two occasions in 2017.

In August 2013, McDonald presented the ITV daytime series Star Treatment. The show, which was made by Shiver Productions, aired for 15 episodes and hasn't returned to TV since.[citation needed]

In 2017, the first series of McDonald's travel series Cruising with Jane McDonald was aired on Channel 5. Due to popular demand and the unexpected success of the show, Channel 5 continues to commission the programme and has aired four series to date. During the series, McDonald cruises on some of the world's most luxurious cruise liners, visiting the Western Mediterranean, the Baltic states, and Cuba to name a few.

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

Guest appearances[edit]

McDonald appeared on a celebrity special of Ready Steady Cook. She donated the money to Wakefield Hospice, a local charity of her home town.

She has also appeared on the reality shows Have I Been Here Before, All Star Family Fortunes, and Drop the Celebrity.

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 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 Sami Brookes after a cruise ship slur by judge Gary Barlow. On 27 October 2011, a newspaper article revolving 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.

On 25 November 2011, McDonald was invited to perform at the David Foster and friends concert at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

She took part in an episode of Tipping Point: Lucky Stars.

On 12 June 2015, McDonald made an appearance on Loose Women as a guest panellist. On 6 February 2017, McDonald returned to Loose Women as a guest to discuss her upcoming musical and television work. In 2016, McDonald took part in ITV's Sugar Free Farm series.


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 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 selected by Andrew Lloyd Webber to star as the lead character of Grizabella in Blackpool's 2015 summer revival of the musical Cats. The show opened at Blackpool Winter Gardens on 9 July 2015.


On 22 February 2012, McDonald hosted a black-tie charity gala event at the Theatre Royal in Wakefield. The evening raised £33,800 for the Wakefield Hospice.


On 13 November 2011, McDonald co-hosted the Paul O'Grady Show on BBC Radio 2 for a live "Music Juke Box" as part of 2011's Children In Need charity event.



  • July 1998 – Jane McDonaldUK No. 1 (platinum)[9]
  • June 2000 – Inspiration – UK No. 6 (co-produced by Ted Carfrae and Jamel Badaoui, Sony BMG)
  • October 2001 – Love at the Movies – UK No. 24 (co-produced by David Sandcastle, Sony BMG)
  • February 2005 – You Belong to Me – UK No. 21
  • August 2008 – Jane – UK No. 7
  • March 2014 – Singer of Your Song
  • November 2017[10]Hold the Covers Back – UK No. 69[11]
  • June 2018 – Cruising with Jane McDonald - UK No.6

Compilation and special albums[edit]

  • April 2003 – The Collection
  • September 2006 – From Me to Youlimited edition four track EP
  • August 2007 – Because You Loved Mecompilation album
  • October 2010 – Live at the London Palladium (Live recording of the DVD) – No. 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
  • June 2018 – Cruising with Jane McDonald - UK No. 6[11]


  • "Cruise Into Christmas Medley" – No. 10 (UK) December 1998[6]


  • 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)
  • Late Night With The Loose Women (2009)
  • Jane McDonald – Live at the London Palladium (18 October 2010)


  • Jane McDonald – Follow Your Dreams (Autobiography, 2000)


  1. ^ "Researcha.co.uk - UK Company and Company Director Reports". Web.researcha.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "findmypast.co.uk". Search.findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  3. ^ "Napster". Home.napster.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  4. ^ "The Cruise". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  5. ^ "Extract from BBC The Cruise docusoap". BBC. Retrieved 2015-01-06. 
  6. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 338. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ "Angel Couture". Angel Couture. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  8. ^ "'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. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "Hold the Covers Back by Jane McDonald on iTunes". iTunes Store (GB). Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  11. ^ a b http://www.officialcharts.com/artist/4871/jane-mcdonald/

External links[edit]