Jane McDonald’s real life from The Cruise to Loose Women and the tragic death of husband Eddie Rothe


Jane McDonald is a popular star of stage and film, but life has also been plagued by tragedy.

As you may recall, Jane rose to fame on BBC reality TV show The Cruise in 1998. The program followed a group of employees aboard the luxury cruise ship Galaxy as it sailed through the Caribbean on its maiden voyage.

Jane was the breakout star of the documentary series, working as an entertainer on the cruise ship. After the series ended, Jane, originally from Wakefield, pursued a career in music and showbiz.

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Following her success on The Cruise, she topped the UK Albums Chart for three weeks in 1998. Since then she has embarked on a series of tours and has fans all over the world.

Most notably, she has appeared on the stage at the Royal Albert Hall and the London Palladium, as well as the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Jane McDonald is also a familiar face on television having appeared in a number of programs. In 2017 she returned to her roots and hosted the Channel 5 program Cruising with Jane McDonald.

Permissive women

Jane McDonald was a fan favorite for many viewers on the panel on the ITV discussion show Loose Women

In 2004, Jane McDonald became a regular contributor on ITV’s panel discussion program Loose Women, appearing on the show three times a week before breaking out in 2010 when she embarked on a music tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Although the performer never actually acted in those countries when she left Loose Women. Instead, Jane hit the road in the UK for a mammoth UK tour. In 2012 she returned to Loose Women.

A position she enjoyed until 2014 when she left Loose Women for good to focus on her music career.

Tragic death

Jane McDonald pictured with her partner musician Eddie Rothe, who died in 2021
Jane McDonald pictured with her partner musician Eddie Rothe, who died in 2021

In 2021, Eddie Rothe, Jane McDonald’s fiancé, died of lung cancer at the age of 67. Musician Eddie Rothe has enjoyed chart success throughout his career, narrowly missing out on representing Britain in the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest – for eventual winners Bucks Fizz.

The couple first met as teenagers, having met at a Wakefield nightclub where she was a waitress and he – going by the name Wally Rothe – played drums in Liquid Gold.

They later split but rekindled their romance almost 30 years later after a chance meeting on the set of This Morning before getting engaged in 2008.

After Eddie’s death, Jane released a statement thanking fans for their support. She said: “We would like to thank everyone for their help and support at this very difficult time, especially the NHS staff and the wonderful team at Wakefield Hospice.”

Christmas tours

For many, Jane McDonald is as much a part of Christmas as the tree, the turkey and the Coca-Cola truck.

Every year, fans compete for tickets to Jane McDonald’s Christmas tours. She was at Leeds First Direct Arena in December 2021 with her final Christmas show.

The event included reworkings of the hits I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday, Fairytale of New York and some of Jane’s hits.

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Later this year, Jane McDonald will appear at the Scarborough Open Air Theater to headline a concert to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It happens on Saturday, April 4th.

Tickets are available when you visit the Scarborough Open Air Theater website.

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