Loose Women presenters lead tributes to Eddie Rothe, partner of Wakefield-born singer Jane McDonald
The stars of Loose Women have led tributes to Eddie Rothe, the long term partner of TV presenter Jane McDonald, after his death from lung cancer.
The Wakefield-born singer announced her partner's death in posts on her social media platforms last night, confirming that Mr Rothe passed away in March after "battling lung cancer for the last few months".
She praised the NHS staff and team at Wakefield Hospice for their help and support.
Formerly a drummer for the 1960s band The Searchers, Mr Rothe first dated Ms McDonald in his teens, after the pair met in a Wakefield nightclub.
They broke up not long after, but began dating again after a chance encounter almost 30 years later, and became engaged in 2008.
Ms McDonald's colleagues on daytime TV show Loose Women were among the first to pay tribute to Mr Rothe, who they described as "part of our Loose Women family".
Speaking on Twitter, they said: "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."
Almost 30,000 people have left messages of condolence on Ms McDonald's official Facebook page since the announcement was made.
And tributes were also paid in her home city, with one commenter writing: "So so sad to read that Ed has died, you were lucky to find each other again.
"Memories are a wonderful thing, never change Jane. Love your programmes and hope life brings you sparkle again."