Jane McDonald tells TV Times about the thrill at being nominated for a BAFTA and why acting may be her next move…
A funny thing happens when the BAFTA nominations are announced. Suddenly your name changes! Effervescent singer Jane McDonald is now ‘BAFTA-nominated Jane McDonald’ and after this Sunday’s star-studded awards ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall, she could well become ‘BAFTA-winner Jane McDonald’, as her hit Channel 5 travelogue, Cruising With Jane McDonald, has been nominated in the Features category.
Here, Jane tells us more about her surprise at being nominated and how she can’t wait to get glammed up on the night…
Where were you when you found out you’d been nominated for a BAFTA?
“It was my birthday, of all things. I was on a ship with the Cruising team and the news came through as we sat down to dinner. My first reaction was, ‘You’re joking!’ It was a big shock. It’s not every day you get nominated for a BAFTA. It’s the best birthday I’ve ever had.”
Did you celebrate in style?
“Gosh yes! We partied as if we’d won it, because to us, we already had by being nominated. It’s the best feeling in the world. BAFTA is the biggie. There’s an awful lot of work that goes into Channel 5’s Cruising. I’m just the person at the front who has a good time. I’m thoroughly excited for everyone involved in it.”
Are you looking forward to going to the ceremony on Sunday?
“I wasn’t sure if I could attend, as filming for Jane and Friends starts early the next morning in Manchester. But thankfully everything fell into place so I can make it, hoorah! And I’m bringing my gorgeous other half, Ed [drummer Eddie Rothe].”
Have you got a frock sorted yet?
“For the first time in my life I’ve had to bring in a professional to pick my outfit due to my schedule! I’m looking forward to a night trying on fabulous frocks with my stylist and having my hair and makeup done. I can get ready a heartbeat. But the problem is, I’ll look like it! But usually, a bit of lipstick and a pan stick and I’m off.”
Do you enjoy getting glammed up then?
“Yes, getting dressed up is a big part of being a performer, especially when you’re touring [Jane’s next national theatre tour starts in June]. As soon as you walk on stage you want that, ‘Wow, look what she’s wearing’ moment. Not, ‘Oh my god, what is she wearing?!’”
It’s a star-studded event, who are you hoping to bump into?
“I’m looking forward to meeting Sian Gibson from Peter Kay’s Car Share!.[Sian’s nominated for Female Performance in a Comedy programme]. I’m also looking forward to meeting Antony Cotton! [Coronation Street is up for Soap & Continuing Drama]. I get star-struck every time I meet someone who is on the telly. It’s weird when you see the people that you admire. One of my favourite programmes ever is Line Of Duty [which has four nominations] so if I see anyone from that I will probably melt.”
Have you ever wanted to act yourself?
“I’ve really wanted to act and to be honest I’ve been sent some amazing scripts in the last couple of years. I was about to go into something quite major when the Channel 5 contract came up at the same time. I was in a quandary about which one to take! Being a singer, I get offered a lot of musical parts and I have acted before – I did Cats for Andrew Lloyd Webber [in 2015]. I think I will end up going into acting when the right part comes up, it’s definitely a passion of mine.”
Are you proud of what you’ve achieved?
“It’s a very strange thing. I absolutely love what I do with a passion, and there’s not a day goes by I’m not grateful for the opportunities I’m having right now. This award nomination is wonderful but the fact I’m just doing what I do is amazing. It’s taken me a long time to get here. I started off in the clubs, then the cruise ships, and everything else that goes with it. Now I am where I could only have dreamed of; I’m just so grateful to everybody who’s helped me.”
Watch the star-studded BAFTA ceremony this Sunday on BBC1.
Cruising With Jane McDonald has been nominated in the Features category With BBC1’s Antique Roadshow, BBC2’s No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?, and C4’s The Secret Life of the Zoo
Jane with Ed pic: Nils Jorgensen/REX/Shutterstock