'You give us so much joy': colleagues react to A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin's terminal cancer diagnosis

14 November 2022, 06:59 | Updated: 14 November 2022, 09:15

A Place in the Sun's Jonnie Irwin has shared his terminal cancer diagnosis
A Place in the Sun's Jonnie Irwin has shared his terminal cancer diagnosis. Picture: Instagram/A Place in the Sun

By Kit Heren

TV estate agent Jonnie Irwin has received an outpouring of support after he announced he has terminal cancer.

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Father-of-three Jonnie, 48, who has just six months to live, said he hoped sharing the diagnosis would inspire others to 'make the most of every day'.

His fellow presenter Jasmine Harman said: "Words can't fix much, but what lovely words of support you have had here Jonnie. I know you know this already, but I am here for you my dear friend, and Jess and the boys. So, so brave. Sending lots of love. Speak soon."

Former Homes Under The Hammer presenter Lucy Alexander said: "Jonnie. I get so much joy watching you & your boys on here. You’re one hellava flippin amazeballs presenter and I’m sending so soooo much love & strength."

Escape To The Country's Nicki Chapman said: "Love you guys so much." Former colleague Sonali Shah wrote: "Love, always."

Another friend said: "You made me laugh until I ugly-cried during your speech at Mark’s wedding, and I still remember our drive to Devon on a whim where we discovered Dolly Parton was a mutual guilty pleasure and shared bad break up stories (mine win btw). loved the pics and videos of the family on here.

"Keep smiling dude, we all love ya (from Mum and Dad too xx)."

An ex-colleague wrote: "Jonnie, I can’t believe it! I’m so so sorry to read this, it was genuinely such a pleasure to work with you on Escape and never in a million years would I think I’d see this, it’s just so cruel, you’re such a gem! Sending so much love and strength to your family".

Another social media user said: "Jonnie I am so so sorry to hear your news... Life is so cruel, to the nicest of people. I send you all our love to you and your family."

Another user said: 'Sending you and your beautiful family so much love and strength.

'Thank you for sharing your news, I'm sure that many people who are in a similar situation will draw strength and inspiration from you.'

Jonnie, who presents Channel 4's A Place In The Sun and the BBC's Escape To The Country, revealed his lung cancer had spread to his brain on Monday, telling Hello magazine: "I don't know how long I have left."

Irwin revealed the first warning sign of his illness came while he was filming A Place In The Sun in August 2020 in Italy, when his vision became blurry while driving.

"Within a week of flying back from filming, I was being given six months to live," he said.

"I had to go home and tell my wife, who was looking after our babies, that she was on her own pretty much. That was devastating.

"All I could do was apologise to her. I felt so responsible."

Irwin, who shares three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica, said he had chosen to keep his illness private until now.

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He said: "It's got to the point now where it feels like I'm carrying a dirty secret, it's become a monkey on my back.

"I hope that by shaking that monkey off I might inspire people who are living with life-limiting prospects to make the most of every day, to help them see that you can live a positive life, even though you are dying.

"One day, this is going to catch up with me, but I'm doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible.

"I owe that to Jess and our boys. Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family."

Irwin has continued to work as much as possible.

He said: "I don't know how long I have left, but I try to stay positive and my attitude is that I'm living with cancer, not dying from it.

"I set little markers, things I want to be around for. I got into the habit of saying 'Don't plan ahead because I might not be well enough.'

"But now I want to make plans. I want to make memories and capture these moments with my family because the reality is, my boys are going to grow up not knowing their dad and that breaks my heart."

The TV presenter is also encouraging people to take out life insurance.

He added: "That has helped so much and when I leave this planet, I'll do so knowing Jess and the boys are in a house that is fully paid off and there's a bit of money in the bank for them to live off."

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