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Jane McDonald’s partner Eddie Rothe dies at 68

The Loose Women star had dated the drummer since 2008

Diane Shipley

Jane McDonald’s partner Eddie Rothe has died, it was confirmed on Wednesday.

A statement on Twitter confirmed the sad news and revealed that the star, who was formerly a drummer with 1960s group The Searchers, was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago.

READ: Paul Ritter's Friday Night Dinner co-star Tamsin Greig shares touching tribute to actor 

The post read: "It is with immense sadness that we share the news that Jane’s beloved life partner, Ed, passed away on Friday 26th March.

"He had been battling lung cancer for the last few months. We would like to thank everyone for all their help and support during this very difficult time, especially the NHS staff and the wonderful team at The Wakefield Hospice."

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Jane and Eddie reunited in 2008

It went on: "The funeral took place earlier today and we would please ask for your kindness in observing Jane’s privacy for her and Ed’s family at this sad time."

SEE: Celebrities who have sadly passed away in 2021

MORE: Jane McDonald reveals whether she'd return to Loose Women as a panellist

The couple had been together since 2008 but knew each other for many years, initially dating in 1980 when Jane was 17.

The singer and presenter previously opened up about their relationship when she chatted to Olly Murs on Chris Evans’ Virgin Radio Breakfast show last March.

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The drummer supported Jane following Lynda Bellingham's death

Jane revealed that she had been nervous when she met her late partner again, as she worried he might be married and that he wouldn't remember her.

But, she shared, that wasn't the case.

"He said, 'Look I’ve just been through a divorce, here’s my card if you want to talk to me.' I couldn’t wait. I ran home from Loose Women, I couldn’t wait to talk to him because a lot had happened."

The 58-year-old, who was previously married to her former manager Henrik Brixen, went on: "I thought what if he doesn’t know who I am, I really did. I thought he’d be like 'Who are you?'"

In November 2019, Jane paid a sweet tribute to Eddie in Good to Know magazine. "He is very funny and he makes me laugh every day," she said.

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