A Place In The Sun bosses have expressed their condolences to hosting Jonnie Irwin after he lashed out on the show for suspending him as he battles terminal cancer.
The presenter, 49, was given just six months to live when he was diagnosed in August 2020 with stage four lung cancer, which has spread to his brain.
After sharing his diagnosis with show bosses, his contract was not renewed, with Jonnie admitting the decision “broke my heart.”
Free Form Productions, which makes the programme, said they were ‘unable to obtain adequate insurance cover’ for him to continue filming internationally during the Covid-19 crisis and said they were ‘frustrated’ with the decision understood.
Send a message: The bosses of A Place In The Sun have sent their condolences to the host Jonnie Irwin after he lashed out on the show for suspending him while battling terminal cancer
A statement released to MailOnline read: ‘Jonnie has been a hugely important part of the A Place In The Sun family for over 18 years and we were all deeply saddened by his diagnosis.
Loved by everyone in the production, no stone was left unturned to enable Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid, but the production company was unable to secure adequate insurance cover for him.
“While we were unable to continue filming abroad with him, we are delighted that he was able to continue to be part of our team in the UK for exhibitions. Of course, we understand how frustrating this must be for him during this incredibly difficult time.
Two of a kind: The former estate agent’s TV career began in 2004 when he was selected from hundreds of applicants to co-host Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun with Jasmine Harman
The former estate agent’s TV career began in 2004 when he was selected from hundreds of applicants to co-host Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun with Jasmine Harman.
He was the programme’s longest-serving presenter, alongside Jasmine, who is still with the show.
In 2010, he gained more fans by becoming a regular host of Escape to the Country. He has continued to film for the BBC One show since his diagnosis and throughout his treatment.
Trip: Earlier this month, MailOnline uncovered footage of Jonnie sipping Apulian olive oil on his latest trip for A Place in the Sun in 2020, before discovering he had terminal cancer
On Thursday’s episode of Good Morning Britain, he said: ‘When I was told I couldn’t do it they broke my heart but I don’t think they were thinking of me. I am overwhelmed by some people and the desire to help me and my family.
“Not working on A Place In The Sun has affected my mental health. I’m a family man now, but being a TV presenter defines you and not being able to travel and take care of my family.”
Speaking to The Sun, he added: ‘Within two weeks there was someone else on TV doing my job, I just feel like after 18 years I’ve made a little more of them. That was my first job in TV and it was special to me.”
Jonnie’s diagnosis came while he was filming Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun in Italy in 2020 after suffering from blurred vision while driving.
Within a week of flying home, doctors told him he was terminally ill and had only six months to live. Cancer drugs and chemotherapy have helped prolong his life.
Earlier this month, MailOnline uncovered footage of Jonnie sipping Apulian olive oil on his last trip for A Place In The Sun in 2020, before discovering he had terminal cancer. The episode was never aired.
Heartbreaking: Jonnie appeared on Good Morning Britain on Thursday as he revealed he is ‘making memories’ for his children as they won’t be able to remember him when he dies
During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, Jonnie revealed that his focus is currently on “making memories” for his children – son Rex, three, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac – as he fears they won’t remember him afterwards he is going to die.
He explained, ‘It’s about making memories for me, I know my kids are so young they won’t remember me.
“I want to at least get it on camera or film to show them that the early days were brilliant. I think our house will be extravagant for Christmas.’
Family: The presenter, 49, has son Rex, three, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with wife Jessica Holmes, but has just months to live as he battles cancer
He also described the struggles he and his wife have had in dealing with his diagnosis around their children, saying, “It’s only recently that I’ve been thinking about when we’re going to tell them, they’re still so young.”
“Right now I’m me, a thinner version, no need to tell them. I think it will be a lot for them to get their head around.
“I do my best to bury my head in the sand because what’s the point of thinking about cancer for days when there are gas bills to worry about. The cost of living is a concern because I won’t witness it, but my family will.”
He continued, “I was scared to a certain extent about what happened, when people find out you have cancer it’s terrifying and I lose work because of it, professionally I didn’t want to lose work, people treat you differently.
“Had I withheld that information, I could have lived a normal life. There are certain busy bodies on social media saying I look sick.”
He announced his diagnosis, he said Hello magazine: ‘I’m carrying a dirty secret – it’s become a monkey on my back. I don’t know how long I have left, but I’m trying to stay positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it.
“I set little markers — things that I want to be around. I got into the habit of saying, “Don’t plan ahead because I may not be good enough.”
“But now I want to make plans. I want to make memories and capture these moments with my family because the reality is that my boys will grow up not knowing their father and that breaks my heart.”
From Lutterworth to Lanzarote: How former estate agent Jonnie Irwin’s TV career took off after beating hundreds to present A Place in the Sun
TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has revealed he suffers from terminal cancer and says he hopes sharing his terminal cancer diagnosis will inspire others to ‘make the most of every day’
Born in 1973, Jonnie Irwin grew up in Bitteswell, Leicestershire, and attended Lutterworth Grammar School and Community College before becoming a real estate agent.
In 2004, Irwin along with co-presenter Jasmine Harman were selected from hundreds of applicants to present Channel 4’s show A Place In The Sun – Home Or Away. The real estate program was a surprise hit and was widely syndicated. Irwin also regularly presents BBC’s Escape To The Country and To Buy Or Not To Buy.
In January 2011, Sky 1 broadcast Irwin’s own show called Dream Lives for Sale in which he helped people leave their lives in the UK to buy their dream business.
Later that year he started a new series The Renovation Game which aired weekday mornings on Channel 4.
In addition to presenting, he is also a commercial director for Judicare, which describes itself as a ‘specialty law firm providing legal advice to clients on all matters related to foreign real estate’.
Irwin married Jessica Holmes in September 2016. Together they have three sons and lived in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire before moving to Newcastle.
On November 13, Irwin was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He told Hello magazine, “I don’t know how long I have left, but I’m trying to stay positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it.”