Jane McDonald is famous for her incredible work ethic, so we can only imagine how itchy her feet are getting after three months spent in lockdown.
The self-confessed ‘workaholic’ rarely spends longer than a few days at home, so the last few months will have been something of an adjustment for the Wakefield-born star, who is used to life being ‘100 miles per hour’.
With lockdown proving difficult for even the strongest of couples, Jane, 57, jokes that she’s not sure whether marriage is still on the cards for her and fiancé-of-12-years, Eddie. ‘It’s been so long that I’ll have to ask him and see whether he still wants to do it,’ she said.
Is Jane’s admission a sign that the couple – who are renowned for their long-distance romance – are facing the ultimate test in lockdown?
An average year in Jane’s life involves spending at least half of it away from home. ‘I spent six months of the year on cruises,’ she muses – and that doesn’t include travelling up and down the country for her UK tour.
While some relationships might not survive the distance, Jane previously reassured fans that it works for her and Eddie – who she rekindled her teenage romance with six years after her divorce from ex-husband Henrik Brixen. ‘I’m never at home,’ she admitted. ‘I’m only back for a few days at a time.
‘I think he quite likes the fact that I’m not there,’ she said. ‘I think he likes the fact he can eat what he wants, watch telly when he wants, get up when he wants.’
Although some partners might resent their other half being away all the time, Eddie has always been nothing but supportive.
‘Ed doesn’t come with me because this is my work – if I worked at a checkout I wouldn’t expect him to stand next to me, and he’s happy for me to go off and do these things,’ she previously said.
With their relationship built on being long distance, how have the pair coped spending three months together at home?
While it’s probably the break Jane needed – given that she’s always lived her life in the fast lane – it sounds as though being at home for so long has brought their 12-year engagement to the forefront of her mind, as Jane admits she’s not sure that Eddie still wants to get married.
Having previously blamed her busy schedule for the delay in planning their nuptials, saying, ‘My schedule has not got time to put a wedding in,’ and ‘It’s impossible to fit in,’ now would seem the perfect time to get wedding planning. But, with the pair yet to put any plans in action (despite the free time on their hands), now Jane is questioning whether it’s still on the cards at all.
‘You’re right, I do have the time, so it might be something I think about,’ she told My Weekly. ‘It was always on the back- burner before. But it’s been so long that I’ll have to ask him and see whether he still wants to do it.’
Shows on hold
The global coronavirus pandemic wiped out Jane’s usually jam-packed schedule, meaning that she’s been staying put at her home with Eddie.
Although Jane’s workload was set to lighten after she announced that she was stepping down from Channel 5’s Cruising With Jane McDonald, which saw her filming abroad for at least six months of the year, Jane had her own cruise plus a UK tour to look forward to later this year.
But with theatres closed for the foreseeable future, Jane has been forced to postpone both her tour and her cruise, Sail Away With Jane McDonald, until 2021 – a decision her fans noticed she didn’t take lightly.
‘I shed a tear, you seem sad and in need of a huge hug,’ said one fan after watching Jane’s video message. While another said, ‘Jane, true emotion in your video, do not feel you let us down.’
There’s nothing Jane loves more than performing, so there’s no doubt that lockdown has been a huge test for her. She’s made no secret in the past of how much she has sacrificed for her career, so having to put a pause on the thing she loves most is no doubt a blow for Jane. ‘I have sacrificed everything for this job, everything you can imagine,’ she has said.
Having already bowed out of Channel 5’s Cruising, the extra time at home has made the star realise she was on the verge of burnout. ‘The truth is, I was spreading myself too thin,’ she admits.
While Jane has called these unprecedented times ‘difficult’, being forced into lockdown has allowed her to put things into perspective. Although she says it has taken her a long time to ‘slow down mentally’, Jane knows she needs to take a step back to maintain a balance in her personal life, saying, ‘With such awfulness going on, I’ve realised there’s more to life than work. ’