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TV Quickfire: Jane McDonald on her new series of Cruising

In new episodes of Cruising with Jane McDonald, the Yorkshire-born star travels to the Great Lakes of America and Canada, the Mediterranean and the Danube. We quizzed her to find out more...

Jane McDonald's new series visits Montmorency Falls in Quebec
Georgia Humphreys

TELL US ABOUT A HIGHLIGHT OF THE FIRST EPISODE

I ZIP-wired across the Niagara Falls. It is the most exhilarating thing you'll ever do; not the most fabulous landing you'll ever see me do, but you've got to have your comedy moments!

DO YOU EVER WORRY ABOUT LOOKING SILLY ON CAMERA?

Oh gosh, no. I really don't care. And that's something that comes with age. Because the older you get, the less you care what you look like or what people see you doing. And I love that!

YOU ALSO GO TO THE MEDITERRANEAN RIVIERA

This is Europe at its best. Rome, Florence, Pisa, Monte Carlo... places we've all heard of, but then having a private guide now and again, to show you places that you would never, ever have dreamt of. And this was a foodie cruise, on Oceania – oh my! That is the first cruise I've put on about eight pounds.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE BALKANS, WHERE YOU HEAD IN EPISODE THREE?

I would never have thought, 'Where shall I go? I know, Bratislava and Belgrade!' But what a cruise that was! To sail out of Budapest on a night and see that skyline all lit up with golden light, glass of champagne, meeting the passengers; it's just breath-taking.

YOU ALSO SAILED THROUGH THE IRON GATES ON THE DANUBE BETWEEN SERBIA AND ROMANIA AT 6 IN THE MORNING...

For me to get up at 5 am – never heard of! But I'm really glad I did it, and honestly, I've got no make up on, I'm in my dressing gown – I look shocking. But it doesn't matter, because that view, and the fact that people have also got up with no make up on, in their dressing gowns... having a cup of tea, on the top of a river cruise, at 6am watching the sun come up, I mean, wow! Things like that don't happen.

YOU SOUND LIKE YOU'RE LIVING THE DREAM...

Yep! Basically, that is my life right now. Tired doesn't come into it, really, because I'm that excited about everything that I'm doing.

And on Jane and Friends [her C5 variety series], I work with the band and all my mates. We spend half a year on a tour bus; we're all very close. So, to actually be in a TV studio with these people and having a really good old time... You can see the chemistry.

DO YOU EVER WORRY ABOUT BURNING OUT?

Yeah, but I have got bundles and bundles of energy. If I've got nothing to do, I'm dangerous. And I've already planned next year – next year is already full. I don't give myself time to be ill or poorly or think, 'I can't do that'. I'm just thinking, 'I've got all that next year, how fantastic is that'.

DO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TELL YOU TO SLOW DOWN SOMETIMES?

All the time. But then they'll say, 'Can I have tickets? Can I come and join you?' I've always been quite lively, and I'm a workaholic without a doubt. And while I've got the energy to do it, why am I going to stop?

YOUR OTHER HALF MUST BE VERY UNDERSTANDING...

He's the one that says, 'Go off and do it while you can!', because he did - he did it for 35 years. Now he's enjoying his time at home, and he'll say, 'This is your time now, go out and enjoy it'. And that's what it's all about.

:: Cruising With Jane McDonald is on Channel 5 on Fridays

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