Emotional Jane McDonald visits places close to her heart in Yorkshire for new show

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Jane McDonald announced retirement plans after the death of her fiancé Eddie Rothe in March, but the star said she was ‘getting on a bit’ and will dedicate next year to making more

Telly star Jane McDonald says she was never swayed by the bright lights of Hollywood because she loves Yorkshire too much – and the Americans just wouldn’t understand her.

The singer and presenter still lives in her hometown of Wakefield and proudly tells the Sunday Mirror: “I’m sure they won’t get me over there. If you cut me in half it’ll say Yorkshire… like a stick of rock!

“I don’t think they’d understand me. It’s the Yorkshire humour. We’re very dry. We tell it how it is.

“So no Hollywood, no. It’s never really appealed to me.

“People often say, ‘Do you really live in Wakefield? And I say, ‘Yeah I do because I wouldn’t think of living anywhere else.’

“My family are all up here – it’s home. I love where I live.”

As if to prove that point, the former Loose Women panellist is returning to our screens tomorrow with new Channel 5 show Jane McDonald: My Yorkshire.

She said: “I wanted to send a love letter to the viewers of why I love Yorkshire so much.

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“No matter where I am in the world and no matter how beautiful it is, I’m always glad to get back and see this green and pleasant land.”

Jane announced retirement plans last year, shortly after her fiancé Eddie Rothe sadly passed away from lung cancer in March.

But she has now decided to carry on doing what she loves and plans to turn her attention away from music to make more TV shows.

The 58-year-old said: “I’m going to dedicate 2023 more to television because I am getting on a bit – I’m not as young as I should be.

“I’m going to try and pace myself a little bit more because touring is quite hard.

“I want to be able to eat what I want and have a late night if I want. You’ve got to really concentrate on keeping fit when you’re on tour, so it would be nice to think, ‘I’m going to stay up and have another pie!’”

Despite her glamorous career, Jane never takes her success for granted and keeps her feet firmly only the ground.

She said: “I don’t know why I am still here. I’m more shocked than anybody that I am.

“But I never take it seriously. It’s show business and I think we forget we’re here to entertain.”

Jane hit the big time after she appeared in 1998 docusoap The Cruise.

She said: “I was a lot older when it happened to me.

“I was in my 30s so I thought, ‘It’s probably going to last five minutes so enjoy it.’ And I’m just going to keep enjoying it. Sooner or later somebody will knock on my door and go, ‘Hey you’ve had enough now.’

“But until that happens I’m not going to keep my head down.”

Jane makes an emotional journey in her new show, revisiting places that hold special memories for her.

She said: “I think you should face emotion. I’ve always said we have to live through a lot in our lives. Those horrible times make you appreciate the wonderful times.

“And that’s what I am doing. I’m appreciating what I have in life, not what I’ve lost. You realise being busy keeps you young. I’ve got a reason to think, ‘Right, put that Mars Bar down’ because I’m going on telly.”

But Jane is “past caring” about ageing. She said: “When you get to a certain age you think, ‘This is how I am. Take it or leave it.’

“Things are starting to droop a little bit and sag a little bit.

“But that’s my age and I’m going to embrace it. I celebrate every day. I have a go at everything and I want to keep doing things until I can’t.”

■Jane McDonald: My Yorkshire starts tomorrow