Reality star still enjoying fame

Today’s reality TV stars are very much here today, gone - and totally forgotten - tomorrow.

But singer Jane McDonald had the good fortune to have been there right at the start of the reality explosion.

It’s one of the reasons she’s still here now, she says.

“I adore it all”, says Jane who is currently on a tour which brings her to the Theatre Royal Brighton on Friday, June 3 at 7.30pm (0844 871 7650) and The Mayflower, Southampton on Sunday, October 30 (02380 711811).

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“I just love it, and I hope that comes across. There’s just such a vibe about going on and doing a job that I love. I am so grateful to the fans that have kept me where I am when I shouldn’t really be here! The reality thing is so short-lived now.

“But then I think the reality thing is overdone now. It is every single year. You have only got a year to make it and so unless you are so successful that you are going to go to America, then you are not going to be there for long. It is eat them up and chew them out these days.”

Jane was a product of The Cruise, one of the first three docusoaps ever: “It was just amazing. We just had such a response, and I was lucky being the singer that people watched.”

Not that it was a case of overnight success. “I did the clubs for 15 years and the cruise ships for eight years before that. But what groundwork that was. I am really pleased that it happened to me later in life.”

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It was groundwork - but it also meant that she never took it for granted: “I never think it is going to last for ever. I just caught the ball and started running and they can’t catch me! I am still doing exactly the same job, but I have got a lot more people as followers now. But as long as I am a jobbing artist, that’s fine by me.”

Which is another reason for always moving forward as a performer, says Jane: “I am always trying to think how I can make the show better. I thought I needed to up my game.”

And so she brought in people who had acted as arrangers for the likes of Tina Turner and Whitney Houston: “The only thing they said to me was ‘Why don’t you do your own material?’”

She took their advice and is delighted to say that it’s her own medley which gets the biggest ovation at her shows these days. Jane has been writing for 15 years, but previous musical directors have steered her away. Now she’s got the green light from the best in the business.

“The next album is going to be a Jane on her own album!”