We chat to Loose Women’s Jane McDonald about her new ITV daytime makeover series Jane McDonald: Star Treatment and her love of trumpets!
Did you jump at the chance of hosting your own makeover TV show?
“This has been the most humbling thing I’ve ever done in my career. I was determined to do a feelgood TV show and one with glamour – it’s taken me a long time! But this has got my name written all over it and I’ve met some wonderful people along the way.”
How did you choose the people to be given the Star Treatment?
“All across the UK, company bosses got in touch with us and put forward six employees who all deserve a treat. They’re the unsung heroes of the workforce who, no matter what’s going on in their lives, still turn up to work every day and give 110 per cent.”
Do they know in advance that they’re going to be on TV?
“No, I swoop in and surprise them and it’s amazing to see the look on their faces when I arrive with a camera crew. It’s really heart-warming. A lot of them are quite shy so I have to teach them how to walk along the catwalk in front of all their colleagues after their makeover. It’s been fun watching their confidence grow. When you’ve got a top hair stylist doing your hair and a really good make-up artist showing you how to make the most of your looks, you really feel good.”
Do you think anyone can look glamorous given the right treatment?
“Absolutely. In each episode, we give away Star Tips that everyone can follow. I thought I knew it all, but even I learnt some really useful stuff. The make-up artist showed me how to fill in my wrinkles! I’m 50 now, you know.”
What kind of companies did you visit?
“We went to a supermarket and found some people in the butchers’ department. One lady, bless her, had a hat on, no make-up and an overall and that’s how she dresses every day. So to get her out of that and looking fabulous is so lovely to watch. We also visited a call centre and one of my favourites, a brass band! It was quite emotional for me as it was an old pit brass band and so many of them have gone now. This family have kept the band going which is lovely for the community.”
Will they stick to their new looks?
“Oh yeah, I think they will, especially as they get to keep their outfits. I know a lot of shows take them back at the end, but not on our show! We had a girls’ rugby team and when I saw them playing on the field I thought, ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do here?’ But at the end, they looked like supermodels walking down the catwalk. You wouldn’t believe it was the same six girls.”
After their makeover, the employees are treated to a gourmet meal. Who is the chef?
“The twist to the show is that the boss who’s nominated them, gets to cook for them at the end, with some help from top chef Ricky Del Asio who has two restaurants in the Lake District. After the makeover, we set up a catwalk in their workplace for them to strut along in front of their colleagues. Then we take them into a marquee with a beautiful table set up and they all come in and eat this gorgeous meal. So they’re all dressed up and they’ve got somewhere to go. It’s a really lovely ending.”
Do you get emotional?
“I’m shocking! Don’t ever get me on a show like Surprise Surprise because I just lose it! During filming, I broke down on camera twice when people were telling me their stories. Once they start crying, I’m off. This show has everything – laughter, warmth, real life stories and glamour.”
You’re so busy now with your TV work, your gigs around the country and working on a new album, do you ever tire of having to look glamorous all the time?
“Oh God darling, I can’t not look glamorous! I wake up like this! It’s part of my life and part of who I am. Even before I did the reality show The Cruise, I looked like this. I always make an effort to look good, even down to my nails. But then I don’t do the pots! I’m very conscious of my hands as I use them a lot when I’m on stage. Also, you’ll never see pictures of me falling out a club looking awful. People want to see the glamour, that’s how they want to see Jane McDonald. Ooh, I’ve just spoken about myself in the third person. That’s shocking, that is!”