Jane McDonald slips on the ice while attempting curling
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Jane McDonald fell for her second husband Henrik Brixen after meeting him on the set of BBC show The Cruise, where he was working onboard as a plumber. After the pair wed, he became her manager, but he struggled to succeed in the industry and ended up feeling that walking away from the marriage was the only way to stop her from sabotaging her career.
Jane, who is now 59, met Danish-born Henrik 25 years ago and quickly fell for him, but after the pair wed, the cracks began to show.
He became the TV presenter and cruise ship singer’s manager and she increasingly began to feel like a “product” instead of a partner to him.
Meanwhile, Henrik lacked experience in showbiz and while Jane admitted the hapless hunk “tried his best” and was “brilliant” at his new career, he simply “didn’t know the industry”.
“We’d [also] come to a point where Henrik had made quite a few enemies,” Jane recalled to The Mirror, “and he said, ‘If I don’t leave you, you are never going to have a career.'”
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“That is why I never talk about Henrik in a bad light at all,” the heartbroken star admitted as she spoke of their bittersweet five year partnership.
“He was the one that walked out of the marriage to save my career!”
She has also retained a few of the things she learned from her ex which have helped her to navigate a presenting career.
For example, the star divulged on an episode of Jane McDonald’s Cruising The Nordics that he’d taught her some Danish words.
“It’s a hard language to learn and I did learn it about 17 years ago,” she revealed, addressing the camera as the cruise journeyed through Denmark – one of the countries she toured for the show alongside Russia, Finland and Estonia.
However, these days she recalls only the words for Danish desserts and how to say “I love you.”
She added: “[The language] took me a very long time to learn and it is very easy to forget!”
Asked by the cameraman if she’d ever been a fast learner, she hit back immediately with a cry of “No!”
Following her disastrous relationship with Henrik, who she feels made the ultimate sacrifice by leaving her to allow her to salvage her work life, she did find love again with Eddie Rothe in 2008.
However, heartbreak set in after her beau, a drummer, succumbed to lung cancer, tragically dying in March 2021.
Prior to both Henrik and Eddie, the star married a man named Paul back in 1986.
The marriage lasted for just a year, and Jane had been just 22 at the time.
She now admits she has drastically revisited her life plans since the death of the third love of her life, with whom she had planned to travel.
The presenter had taken on a “crash course in nursing” to be able to care for her husband during his final hours, in the midst of the pandemic.
“Because it was lung cancer, they were scared of him getting Covid… I took over everything. That was a privilege,” she recalled on ITV’s Loose Women.
The Holidaying With Jane McDonald star admits losing Eddie prompted her to delay her retirement, as he taught her that “life is for the living” and she had to continue to fulfil her dreams.
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