Jane McDonald has announced the death of her long-term fiance, musician Eddie Rothe, following a cancer diagnosis.
The news was confirmed “with immense sadness” on the singer and TV presenter’s official social media sites on Wednesday, shortly after his funeral.
Rothe died on Friday 26 March, the statement said, and had been “battling lung cancer for the last few months” of his life.
“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,” the statement said.
McDonald rose to fame in the late 1990s after her appearance on BBC show The Cruise, and went on to release several albums as well as her own series, Cruising With Jane McDonald.
She was also a former panellist on daytime show Loose Women.
The star had been in a relationship with Rothe, who she had known since she was a teenager, for more than a decade.
He also had a long musical career, playing in bands including Liquid Gold and The Searchers. With Liquid Gold, he narrowly missed out on representing the UK at Eurovision in 1981 to Bucks Fizz – who went on to win with Making Your Mind Up.
Among the tributes to Rothe on social media was a statement from Loose Women, saying: “Our deepest condolences go to our friend and former Loose Woman Jane McDonald whose life partner Ed Rothe has passed away.
“Ed was a part of our Loose Women family for many years and appeared on our show on numerous occasions. We’re sending love to Jane and her and Ed’s family.”