About Jane McDonald
One of the U.K.'s first successful reality TV recording artists, cabaret singer Jane McDonald became an overnight sensation after appearing in the BBC docu-soap The Cruise. Born in Wakefield in 1963, McDonald started her singing career performing at various workingmen's clubs across the North of England, employing her father as her roadie. After working as an entertainer on several cruise ships, she retired from the business for nine months until a call from her agent persuaded her to take up one final job, a residency on The Galaxy. Coincidentally, the BBC was filming a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the day-to-day running of the cruise liner and asked McDonald if she would like to appear. Thanks to her down-to-earth nature and Northern sense of humor, she became the show's biggest star, and following its huge ratings success, she was signed to Focus Records. In 1998, her self-titled debut album reached number one in the U.K. charts, where it stayed for three weeks; she performed a sold-out show at the London Palladium, and her televised marriage to Henrik Brixen attracted 14 million viewers. In 2000, she returned with second album Inspiration (number six) and became a TV presenter for the BBC, fronting both The National Lottery and Star for a Night, a talent show that helped launch Joss Stone. A year later, her third album, Love at the Movies, reached number 24 and she appeared in the West End production of Romeo and Juliet: The Musical. In 2005, she released her fourth album, You Belong to Me (number 21) and became a regular panelist on ITV chat show Loose Women. In 2008, following an appearance on a program revisiting the stars of The Cruise, her fifth studio album, Jane, saw her return to the Top Ten for the first time in eight years and she embarked on a sold-out theater tour across the U.K.
In 2014, she released the album Singer of Your Song and on a tour in support of the album. Two years later the singer launched the Making Memories tour, and the popularity of the performance extended the show's run into 2017. That same year, McDonald released her seventh album. Hold the Covers Back featured original material, and a guest spot from Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley. 2017 also saw McDonald returning to her love of cruise ships, presenting the TV show Cruising with Jane McDonald. The show took her to various destinations and on some of the world's best cruises, while also spawning the album Cruising with Jane McDonald. Over the next couple of years, McDonald devoted her time to the series, and it won a BAFTA in 2018. As the series came to a close in 2020, she issued the follow-up album, Cruising with Jane McDonald, Vol. 2 toward the end of the year. ~ Jon O'Brien
BORN04 April 1963