One of the U.K.'s first successful reality TV recording artists, cabaret singer Jane McDonald became an overnight sensation after appearing in BBC docu-soap The Cruise. Born in Wakefield in 1963, McDonald started her singing career performing at various workingmen's clubs across the North of England, employing her father as her roadie. After working as an entertainer on several cruise ships, she retired from the business for nine months until a call from her agent persuaded her to take up one final job, a residency on The Galaxy. Coincidentally, the BBC was filming a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the day-to-day running of the cruise liner and asked McDonald if she would like to appear. Thanks to her down to earth nature and Northern sense of humor, she became the show's biggest star, and following its huge ratings success, she was signed to Focus Records. In 1998, her self-titled debut album reached number one in the U.K. charts, where it stayed for three weeks, she performed a sold-out show at the London Palladium, and her televised marriage to Henrik Brixen attracted 14 million viewers. In 2000, she returned with second album Inspiration (number six) and also became a TV presenter for the BBC, fronting both The National Lottery and Star for a Night, a talent show which helped to launch Joss Stone. A year later, her third album, Love at the Movies, reached number 24 and she appeared in the West End production of Romeo and Juliet -- The Musical. In 2005, she released her fourth album, You Belong to Me (number 21) and became a regular panelist on ITV chat show Loose Women. In 2008, following an appearance on a program revisiting the stars of The Cruise, her fifth studio album, Jane, saw her return to the Top Ten for the first time in eight years and she embarked on a sold-out theater tour across the U.K. ~ Jon O'BrienPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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