Jonnie Irwin says A Place In The Sun bosses axed him from show as soon as he told them he was dying of cancer

24 November 2022, 07:03 | Updated: 24 November 2022, 07:17

Jonnie Irwin
Jonnie Irwin. Picture: jonnieirwintv/Instagram
Fran Way

By Fran Way

TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has accused A Place In The Sun bosses of axing him from the show as soon as he told them he was dying of cancer.

Earlier this month, Jonnie said he did not know ‘how much time I have left’ after his lung cancer spread to his brain.

After being diagnosed with terminal cancer mid-way through filming the season, 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’.

The 49-year-old presenter told The Sun: “That hurt. That broke my heart. I feel hugely let down. I can’t even watch the show now.”

Jonnie on set
Jonnie on set. Picture: Jonnieirwintv/Instagram

READ MORE:I'm A Celeb’s Scarlette Douglas ‘has no idea’ her co-star Jonnie Irwin has terminal cancer, as ITV bosses withhold news

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

He spoke about his frustrations, telling the paper: “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.”

Jonnie Irwin and Jasmine Harman
Jonnie Irwin and Jasmine Harman. Picture: Getty

The dad-of-three also spoke about his heartbreak of not being able to watch his children grow up and grow old with his wife.

The broadcaster shares three-year-old Rex and two-year-old twins Rada and Cormac with wife Jessica.

Speaking to The Sun he said: "Every time something really nice happens with them, I have this thing knocking at my door, saying, 'Don't get too happy because you're not going to be around much longer'.

"Then I think they're not going to remember me, they're really not. "They're too young and if I die this year there's no chance they will have memories."

He added: "Someone else is probably going to bring them up. I've done the hard yards with them and someone else will get the easy bit."

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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