Five minutes with ... singer Jane McDonald

PUBLISHED: 13:30 05 January 2010 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 February 2013

Jane McDonald

Jane McDonald

The nation watched her cruising to success aboard The Galaxy where she rose from an unknown voice floating on the ocean to an international star with sell-out shows from the Royal Festival Hall to the MGM Grand in Vegas. Sussex Life reporter Mahee...

You seem to be everywhere all at once, on tour, television and album covers. How do you do it?
I'm a bit of a control freak workaholic. In the last four years I've taken more control. I've worked with so many people and thought I could have done that better. The last time I heard myself say that I thought "Do it, then" and took over the whole company. I'm selling my product and I tend to know what my audience like and what works and I don't need someone telling me how to sing or what to wear. I've gone from 13 staff ten years ago to about four and it runs a lot smoother.

Have you met any of your heroes?
I've met them all. With Andrea Bocelli I was beside myself. I get starstruck and I start babbling and I can't stop asking questions and then I have to apologise for being so excited. I find the bigger stars are absolutely lovely. The people just trying to get there can be quite pre-Madonna-like, especially the young ones clambering for fame. I don't see myself as any different to 12 years ago. I did a massive concert in Vegas. The billboards read Madonna, N-Sync and Jane McDonald and even I thought: Who is Jane McDonald?

You are 45 now. Looking back, was it harder for you to break into the industry and stay on top?
There's no getting away from that. Although my album went to number seven in the charts, I still never got any radio play. You have to accept that's never going to change and think of a way around it. It's a big pill to swallow. That's why I tour as much as I do. I have 60 to 70 concerts this year. It's all about putting on a show and I can be myself because I don't fit in with anyone else. If people thought that way instead of giving up they would have a better life. There's ways and means.

Are you planning to follow up your autobiography Follow Your Dreams?
I should definitely write a few more. A lot has happened in ten years. In the industry they say I have a rubber bum. Every time someone knocks me down, I bounce back up. Everyone knows how devastated I was when my husband left me but now I have the most wonderful man who is gentle and kind and loves me so much.

Tell me more. I met Eddie [Rothe] when I was 19. I was only a barmaid in a club and he was out of my league and I thought no I can't do this and I just felt out of my depth and he went round the world to be a superstar. He was the drummer in Mud for ten years and is now with The Searchers. We have been together now for ten months and we are still in the honeymoon period. He is in the industry and does the same job so there is complete trust with us and that's huge in a relationship. He is a very kind loving man and I appreciate him in every way.

Jane McDonald is appearing at the Brighton Centre on March 14. For tickets call the box office on 0844 847 1515.

Other famous faces stopping by in Sussex...

  • Brian Conley
    March 4, Pavillion Theatre, Worthing

  • Billy Ocean
    March 13, Assembly Hall, Worthing

  • Elaine Paige
    March 16, Congress Theatre, Eastbourne

  • Pam Ayres
    March 26, The Hawth, Crawley

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