Jane McDonald and Lynda Bellingham smiling composition
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Jane McDonald’s grief after losing three people very close to her in a month

She took some time out after being knocked for six

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Jane McDonald was plunged into grief after the deaths of close friends in the space of a month.

She knew the only way to deal with it was to take time out from her career to grieve properly.

The TV presenter, who’s Cruising the Nordics programme returns to screens on Channel 5 tonight, has suffered more than her  share of loss.

Jane McDonald’s grief after deaths of close friends

The year 2014 was a traumatic one for bubbly Jane, now 59.

Having worked on Loose Women since 2004 Jane was devastated when fellow panelist Lynda Bellingham passed away.

Lynda Bellingham
Lynda Bellingham in 2013 after revealing she had been diagnosed with colon cancer (Credit: Splashnews.com)

Chemo followed, but after finding the cancer had spread Lynda decided to stop the treatment.

Read more: Jane McDonald wows fan with appearance in stunning beach photo

She had battled colon cancer for more than a year when she passed away in October 2014.

Brave Lynda shot to fame after appearing in the famed Oxo television advert, and enjoyed a successful acting career.

I cleared my diary to have time to grieve.

Sadly, Jane went on to lose two more close friends in the space of a month.

She spoke out about how she handled the overwhelming losses in a 2015 interview.

The Mirror newspaper reported that Jane said: “I didn’t just lose Lynda last year, I lost three very important people within a month and it knocked me for six.

“I cleared my diary to have time to grieve, I needed time.

She added: “I had a gruelling year and I thought I need a rest. I wanted to grow some veg.”

Jane McDonald
Former Loose women panelist Jane Mcdonald leaving the ITV studios in London. (Credit: Splashnews.com)

Jane on her late fiancé

Jane went on to lose her beloved fiancé Ed Rothe last year.

Ed died in March 2021 after a battle with lung cancer.

The couple had been together for 13 years, but also dated when they were younger.

She returned to Loose Women to give her first interview after he passed away.

Jane said Ed’s “golden” personality was the reason she would not want to be sad for the rest of her life.

Read more: Jane Mcdonald on tragic family loss ‘I’d do anything for one more day’

She said: “I don’t want to feel sad for the rest of my life, because that wasn’t Ed.

“Ed was golden. He was smiling, he was beautiful.”

To catch up with Jane tune into Cruising the Nordics on Channel 5 tonight (Saturday) at 5.15pm.

A repeat of her first cruise in the Nordics, Jane boards the Viking Sky.

Viewers can join her visiting Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm.

She is filmed doing everything from meeting cats to becoming the fifth member of ABBA.

Will you be joining Jane on her travels? Let us know over on our Facebook page @entertainmentdailyfix