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Jane McDonald in-depth profile: ‘Secret’ first husband and living with her mum till she was 45

Jane McDonald is one of the country’s favourite entertainers, but where is she from, how did she get famous and does she have a husband?

Here’s everything you need to know about the woman who went from working on cruise ships to household name status in a matter of weeks.

Where’s Jane McDonald from?

Jane was born and raised in Wakefield, west Yorkshire.

She’s a proud Yorkshirewoman who, during an interview on BBC Radio 4, revealed that she lived at home with her mum until she was 45.

“I wasn’t an only child. I still have a brother and sister,” she said.

“But I was the one who stayed at home until she was 45.”

She then explained that because she was working away so much, she always used her family home as a base.

“I was out working all the time and I was able to pay for the bills and I had my mother at home looking after me.

“My brother and sister got married and they have been in great relationships all of their lives.

“For me, it just didn’t happen that way. I’m just slightly different to the two of them, which is not a bad thing.”

How old is Jane McDonald?

Jane was born on April 4, 1963. That makes her 58 years old currently.

How did Jane McDonald get famous?

Jane performed in clubs and pubs during the early part of her career.

She then landed jobs working on cruise ships, and in 1998 became an unlikely star.

She was part of the menagerie of staff aboard cruise ship the Galaxy on her maiden voyage to the Caribbean.

The exploits of the ship – as well as staff members – featured in the BBC One documentary series, The Cruise.

It became a huge hit, regularly attracting over 10million viewers per episode.

And fans quickly latched on to Jane, who became an overnight household name.

Such was her popularity, two specials were broadcast in the same year – The Cruise Special: Jane Ties The Knot (which showed Jane marry partner Henrik on the Caribbean island of St Thomas), and Jane’s Cruise To The Stars (which saw Jane reflect on her incredible rise to household name status).

Regular appearances on Loose Women followed, but in 2017 she returned to the waves.

The Channel 5 series – Cruising With Jane McDonald – was another huge success.

So much so, she won a BAFTA TV Award in 2018.

When did Jane McDonald’s partner pass away?

Jane experienced heartache when her fiancé, Eddie Rothe, passed away in March 2021.

He died from lung cancer.

In a statement on her official Twitter page said: “It is with immense sadness that we share the news that Jane’s beloved long term partner, Ed, passed away on Friday 26th March.

“He had been battling lung cancer for the last few months.

“We would like to thank everyone for all their help and support.”

In January of 2022, Jane reflected on the tragic experience.

She told The Mirror: “If we know anything about what has happened in this past year, it’s that life is too short.

“This has taught me that life is for living and I will live it even more when we are allowed out again.”

Who was Jane McDonald married to?

Since the death of her beloved Eddie, Jane is single.

However, before she became engaged to Eddie, she had been married before.

After meeting on a cruise, she married Henrik Brixen in 1998, and he later became her manager.

However, they divorced in 2003.

In her autobiography, Riding The Waves, Jane revealed that Henrik had greatly mismanaged her money.

“Eventually, I came to the devastating conclusion that I really did have nothing left. I told Henrik, ‘I’m firing you as my manager’,” she wrote.

Henrik was Jane’s second husband. She married her first husband, Paul, in 1986 but split the following year.

Nothing more is known publicly about Paul.

Where does Jane McDonald buy her clothes?

When it comes to fashion, Jane likes to mix high fashion with high-street items.

She says on her website: “I’m always getting asked about my outfits, especially the ones I wear on Cruising with Jane McDonald.

“I like to be comfortable and stylish when filming (although it does depend on what I’m doing!).

“I often wear items from Joseph Ribkoff and Foil as well as items from the high-street.”

When did Jane McDonald’s mum pass away?

In December 2018, Jane’s beloved mum Jean died.

Once again taking to Twitter, she said: “I know this time of year is difficult for so many people due to losing loved ones, this year I join you.

“I have very recently lost my beautiful Mum.

“A light in my heart has gone out for a short while. My family and I would appreciate your privacy regarding this huge loss.”

She also revealed that she had a song written for her, which she performs to this day.

Can Jane sing?

Jane McDonald can absolutely sing.

After her success on The Cruise, she was signed by an independent record label, and her debut album reached number one in the charts.

From there, Jane signed to a major label and her singing career continued apace.

However, after Eddie died, she revealed that she found it difficult to sing his songs in public – Eddie was also a musician and was the drummer in hit band from the 1960s, The Searchers.

Appearing on Loose Women, Jane was asked if she still sings some of Eddie’s songs on her tours.

“No I can’t, not yet,” she replied.

Can she play guitar?

Jane has been involved in music all of her life.

She told the Bournemouth Daily Echo in 2017: “As a child I was learning piano at seven years old. I loved music and it was a wonderful companion for me.

“I reached grade seven at the London College of Music before changing to singing lessons where I trained in opera.”

But while she’s a renowned, chart-topping singer and regularly tours with her band, there’s no mention or record of Jane ever playing a guitar.

The guitarist in her band in Steve Cooper.

What’s Jane up to now?

Jane went back to her home county of Yorkshire to film a new TV series that was very close to her heart.

Channel 5 premiered Jane McDonald’s Yorkshire, a show that was met by rave reviews from fans.

During the series, Jane explored the rolling hills and big skies, quaint villages and bustling towns and cities.

Things got a little more idyllic after her Yorkshire show though, as she headed to the Caribbean for Holidaying With Jane McDonald, which is on Channel 5 at the moment.

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