Place In The Sun bosses send their condolences to Jonnie Irwin after he was killed in a terminal battle with cancer

A Place In The Sun bosses have expressed their sympathies to host Jonnie Irwin after he was fired on the show for chopping him up with an ax as he battles terminal cancer.

The presenter (49) had only six months to live when he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in August 2020, which spread to his brain.

After sharing his diagnosis with show bosses, his contract was not renewed and Jonnie admitted the decision ‘broke my heart.’

Free Form Productions, which is working on the programme, said it was ‘unable to secure adequate insurance’ for him to continue filming internationally amid the Covid-19 crisis and said it understood his ‘frustration’ at the decision.

Sending a message: Place In The Sun bosses have offered their condolences to host Jonnie Irwin after he fired the show for axing him as he battles terminal cancer

A statement released to MailOnline said: ‘Jonnie has been an extremely important part of the A Place In The Sun family for over 18 years and we were all deeply saddened by his diagnosis.

‘Much loved by everyone in the production, no stone was left unturned in trying to allow Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid, but the production company could not secure adequate insurance for him.

‘While we were unable to continue filming with him overseas, we are delighted that he was able to remain as part of our team in the UK for exhibitions. Of course, we understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time.

Two of the same kind: The former estate agent’s TV career began in 2004 when he was chosen 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 chosen from hundreds of applicants to co-host Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun with Jasmine Harman.

He was the program’s longest-serving host, alongside Jasmine, who is still on the show.

In 2010, he won more fans by becoming the permanent host of Escape to the Country. He has continued to film for the BBC One show since his diagnosis and throughout his treatment.

The trip: Earlier this month, MailOnline revealed footage of Jonnie sipping Pulagian olive oil on his final trip to the sun in 2020, before revealing he had terminal cancer

Speaking about the decision on Thursday’s episode of Good Morning Britain, he said: ‘When I was told I couldn’t do it, it broke my heart, but I don’t think they were thinking of me. I was appalled by some people and their desire to help me and my family.

‘Not working on A Place In The Sun anymore affected my mental health. Now I’m a family man, but being a TV host defines you so I can’t travel and take care of my family.’

He added, speaking to The Sun: ‘Within two weeks someone else was on TV doing my job, I just feel I’ve earned a bit more than them after 18 years. It was my first job on television and it was special to me.’

Jonnie was diagnosed while filming Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun in Italy in 2020, after his vision blurred while driving.

A week after he returned home, doctors told him he was terminally ill and had only six months to live. Cancer drugs and chemotherapy helped prolong his life.

Earlier this month, MailOnline revealed footage of Jonnie drinking Apulian olive oil on his last trip for A Place In The Sun in 2020, before revealing he was suffering from terminal cancer. The episode was never broadcast.

Heartbreaking: Jonnie appeared on Good Morning Britain on Thursday and revealed he is ‘making memories’ for his children as they won’t be able to remember him after he dies

During an appearance on Good Morning Britain, Jonnie revealed that he is currently focused 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 after he dies.

He explained: ‘I’m making memories, I know my kids are so young they won’t remember me.

‘I want to at least capture 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) with his wife Jessica Holmes has a son Rex (3) and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac, but he only has months left to live as he fights cancer

He also detailed the struggles he and his wife faced while dealing with his diagnosis around their children, saying: ‘It was only recently that I thought about when we’re going to tell them they’re so young.

‘Right now it’s me, a thinner version, no need to tell them. I think it will be a lot to get their heads around.

‘I’m doing my best to bury my head in the sand because what’s the point of spending days thinking about cancer when you have to worry about fuel bills. The cost of living is a concern because I won’t witness it, but my family will.’

He continued: ‘I was somewhat scared of what happened, when people find out you have cancer it’s scary and I lose my job because of it, professionally I didn’t want to lose my job, people treat you differently.

‘If I had withheld that information, I could have lived a normal life. There are certain busybodies on social media who say I look sick.’

Announcing his diagnosis, he told Hello magazine: ‘I have a dirty secret – it’s become a monkey on my back. I don’t know how long I have left, but I try to stay positive and my attitude is that I am living with cancer, not dying from it.

‘I put up little markers – things I want to be around. I got into the habit of saying, ‘Don’t plan ahead because I might not be good enough’.

“But now I want to make plans. I want to create 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 has terminal cancer, saying 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 an estate agent.

In 2004, Irwin was chosen from hundreds of applicants alongside co-host Jasmine Harman to host Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun – Home Or Away. The property program was a surprise hit and widespread. Irwin also regularly presents the BBC’s Country Escape and To Buy or Not to Buy.

In January 2011, Sky 1 aired Irwin’s own show, Dream Lives for Sale, in which he helped people leave their lives in the UK to buy their dream business.

Later that year, he launched a new series, The Renovation Game, which aired weekday mornings on Channel 4.

As well as presenting, he is also the commercial director for Judicare, which describes itself as ‘a specialist law firm providing legal advice to clients on all matters relating to property abroad’.

Irwin married Jessica Holmes in September 2016. They have three sons together 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 to live with cancer, not die from it.’

Source: |