Rothe, who was a former drummer of the Liverpool-based group The Searchers in the Sixties, died on 26 March of lung cancer, a statement shared on McDonald’s Twitter on Wednesday (7 April) announced.
“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,” the statement read.
Opening Thursday’s episode (8 April) of Loose Women, on which McDonald was a presenter from 2004 to 2014, the panelists paid tribute to Rothe.
“We want to send our condolences to our friend Jane McDonald, who has sadly lost her partner Eddie Rothe to lung cancer,” said Charlene White.
“‘Ed was part of the Loose Women family for many years and we’re sending Jane and Ed’s family all the love in the world.”
Describing Rothe as McDonald’s “rock”, Jane Moore continued: “‘It is really, really sad. Jane has been in here as a guest quite a few times since leaving the show and he was always with her, he was always waiting in the wings… it must have been a tough old time for her.”
“We’re just sending her all our love, I think we were all really shocked to see that news,” Nadia Sawalha said.
White agreed, adding: “Grief is hard enough at the best of times, let alone at the moment. To reiterate what the ladies have said, sending you and your family all our love, Jane.”
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trialSign up
Rothe and McDonald had initially dated after meeting in 1980, when McDonald was 17. They later rekindled their romance in 2008 after meeting at ITV.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies