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Jane McDonald on Loose Women and Yorkshire

PUBLISHED: 00:04 17 September 2013

Jane McDonald

Jane McDonald

Archant

Wakefield-born Jane McDonald - singer, songwriter, TV personality - talks to Tony Greenway about touring, fame and turning 50

Q You’re back touring again, but you gave it up for a while because you missed your partner, Ed (Eddie Rothe, ex-drummer with The Searchers), too much.

A So on this new tour he’s coming with me! My relationships in the past have suffered greatly because of my career, as has Ed’s. Ed was on the road for 40 years — and when I first went out with him 30 years ago it was his career that split us up. Then when we got back together this time we never saw each other — AGAIN. He was out on tour with The Searchers 250 nights of the year and then I’d go out on tour. We just went: ‘Hang on a minute. Something’s going to have to give.’ We were ships in the night and, for a lot of people that works. But it wasn’t for us.

Q What do you think of fame?

A It’s better that I found it later in life, without a doubt. I was still very naïve, very green when it happened but I was quick to learn. That only comes with age and experience and it’s probably why I’m still here today. Every single artist gets stitched up. But I didn’t believe everything they said.

Q You turned nifty 50 this year — how was that?

A I was quite depressed, even to the extent that I said I would work on my birthday. But it was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had because the Loose Women girls took me out and we had a great time. They did me proud. They always do. But since reaching that milestone, the year has taken off for me. So I don’t think age is the big drawback any more. And I couldn’t sing the songs I’m singing on my (forthcoming) album if I was still in my thirties because it’s about reflection. They’re songs for someone of my age.

Q When you’re arguing with the others on ITV’s Loose Women, do you ever get carried away and forget you’re on television?

A We actually forget we’re live sometimes and we have producers screaming in our ears. But we pretend we can’t hear them. If we’re having a debate and we get heated someone will be saying: ‘Get OFF that subject!’ But we just think no – this is what the public want us to do. Argue about it and be real.

Q Could you bring yourself to live anywhere other than Yorkshire?

A When I was doing the West End I bought a flat in London and I just thought: ‘I can’t do this. I’ll rent if I need to stay over.’ I’m very proud of my Yorkshire roots and everybody knows that I’m a Yorkshire girl. I don’t have to pretend to be anything else which is quite nice. I’m quite lucky because I live in Wakefield — so 20 minutes that way I’m in Leeds and I’m just five minutes away from Denby Dale. And Denby Dale for me is just gorgeous…

Q Do you have a favourite Yorkshire beauty spot?

I’m quite lucky because I live in Wakefield — so 20 minutes that way I’m in Leeds and I’m just five minutes away from Denby Dale. And Denby Dale for me is just gorgeous.

What’s your favourite Yorkshire city?

York. I love it. I love the Designer Outlet — the McArthurGlen. That’s a day out for me, with Graveley’s fish and chips. It’s a lovely city – all the little lanes and Shambles.

What about a good Yorkshire night out?

It’s got to be the Three Acres at Emley. When I have a really special night we all go up there. And I love Bibis in Leeds.

Wakefield city centre has seen lots of regeneration work. What do you think of it now?

I really love we have a Debenhams! Trinity Walk is lovely but it has its downside as M&S and Boots are over the other side of town in The Ridings (shopping centre) — so you tend to go to one or the other. It’s quite a long walk if you’re carrying heavy shopping — if they were together it would be perfect.

What do you think of The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery?

I am ashamed to say I haven’t visited the Hepworth yet; when I’m back home my visits are usually to my mother, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Asda. It is on my ‘to do’ list.

Any favourite Yorkshire seaside resorts?

I love every bit of coastal Yorkshire as a trip to the seaside is a real treat.

Which independent shops in Yorkshire would you recommend?

I absolutely love my butcher — Allum’s — as they do the best pork pie I’ve ever tasted. I also love Blacker Hall Farm shop (Calder Grove, Wakefield) — it’s a day out going there. They have a brilliant coffee shop and restaurant so you can taste the produce before you buy. For clothes, I’m a fan of Ragdoll in Pudsey. I’m lucky because I’m only 20 minutes away from Leeds where I can get everything my heart desires. n

Details of Jane’s tour which starts in September and comes to Leeds Grand Theatre on November 16th, can be found on jane-mcdonald.com

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