Place In The Sun's Jonnie Irwin 'showered with love' by fans after revealing terminal cancer

25 November 2022, 08:35

Jonnie Irwin has shared the sad news of his terminal cancer diagnosis
Jonnie Irwin has shared the sad news of his terminal cancer diagnosis. Picture: Jonnieirwintv/Instagram

By Asher McShane

Jonnie Irwin has thanked fans for sending him thousands of messages of support after he revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis.

The TV presenter, 49 has said he has received a “phenomenal” outpouring of support.

Yesterday it emerged he was ditched by TV bosses after telling them he was dying of cancer.

Thanking fans for their heart-warming messages, he said: ““The outpouring has been phenomenal.

“I’ve had messages from people all over the world, wishing me well. Thousands of people have left me heart-warming comments on Instagram and I promise I will try to read them all.

The presenter said he was dumped by show bosses after revealing he had cancer
The presenter said he was dumped by show bosses after revealing he had cancer. Picture: Jonnieirwintv/Instagram

“They range from practical, scientific advice to ones from very religious people. There are thousands and thousands of them on my social media platforms and it’s been great.”

Jonnie has told of his pain at leaving his wife Jess, 40, behind an their son Rex, 3, and two year old twins Rafa and Cormac. He said he was struggling with the fact that he would not be there as they grew up and they would not remember him.

After being diagnosed with terminal cancer mid-way through filming a series of A Place In The Sun, he claims he was paid off and his contract wasn’t renewed. He said he was ‘pushed to the side’ and replaced on screen by ‘somebody healthier’.

He spoke about his frustrations, telling the Sun: “As soon as people find out you’ve got cancer they write you off. Yes, I have stage four and it’s terminal – but not yet, so let me live my life while I can.

“Even though I look thinner and I’m without hair, Escape to the Country and A Place In The Sun Ltd, which runs the show’s exhibitions, have employed me and I’ve been so impressed by them.

"But I didn’t get that support from A Place In The Sun. I told them I wanted to work. When I said I can get you doctor notes and assurances from my oncologist that I am fit to work, I was told, verbatim, ‘Oh, you really don’t want to go down that route, do you?’

“They said, ‘We don’t think we can get the insurance’, not ‘We can’t get the insurance’, but, ‘We don’t think . . . ’ That broke my heart and affected my mental health.

“Within two weeks someone else was on TV doing my job. I just feel I earned a bit more from them after 18 years. That was my first job in TV and it was special to me.

"I started with my good friend Jasmin Harman and to have that taken away from me . . .  that wage, that purpose . . .  as if the cancer wasn’t bad enough.”

Irwin previously told Hello! magazine that he hoped sharing his diagnosis would inspire others to "make the most of every day", and encouraged people to take out life insurance. He said he had chosen to keep his illness private until recently.

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