Jane McDonald’s ‘very grateful’ for close friends after death of beloved fiance

Jane McDonald has spoken of her gratitude to the close circle of friends who surround her in the wake of losing beloved musician partner Eddie Rothe to cancer.

Now The Cruise star, 59, is preparing for a big family Christmas as she celebrates in her hometown of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, with her nearest and dearest.

Jane lost Eddie to lung cancer last year and says she appreciated even more the care of pals who “will always be there" for her.

READ MORE: Jane McDonald opens up on 'new man' in her life after tragic death of fiancé

She told the Mirror : “I think you appreciate your friends more when you get older," adding: “We’re all of a certain age, we’re all on our own – every one of us – but that’s your family. That’s who you go to.

"We’ve got a network of people we can call at three o’clock in the morning and say, ‘I’m having a bad day’. It’s those friends who’d take a bullet for you. And I’m very grateful. I’m very blessed to have them in my life.”

The singer will be surrounded by family, including her niece’s new baby, at her home, saying: “We’re cooking for 11 on Christmas Day, but it’ll be great because it’s the family and we’ve got a new baby and we’re all just mad about it."

She added: "In fact, we won’t even put the TV on, because we’ll be watching the baby!”

Jane is also close to her brother, Tony, and sister, Janet, although she admits they "just don't get" her jet-setting job.

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She said: "They’ve got this lovely family life and have been married forever. They must look at my life and think, ‘What on earth is she doing?'"

Much-loved entertainer Jane shot to fame in 1998 after starring on the BBC's The Cruise, and has since appeared on numerous shows including Loose Women and the Bafta-winning Cruising With Jane McDonald.

In her latest, A Highland Christmas With Jane McDonald, she and a group of her pals head to the northern extremities of her family’s homeland, Scotland.

But as she approaches her 60th birthday in April, she is considering easing off her busy schedule, admitting: “For the past seven or eight years I’ve toured, sang, produced, then done all the TV… and I just got to the point where I thought, ‘I’m tired. I can’t do all this.’

"I’m trying to space it out a little bit more, just to give me time to do my washing!”

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