Home Lifestyle Jonnie Irwin shared heartbreaking regret after terminal cancer diagnosis

Jonnie Irwin shared heartbreaking regret after terminal cancer diagnosis

Jonnie Irwin shared heartbreaking regret after terminal cancer diagnosis


A Place in the Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin has died aged 50, just over a year after he revealed to the public that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

On 13 November 2022, Irwin revealed that he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer back in 2020. After initially keeping his illness private, the presenter said he decided to speak publicly after being told the cancer had spread from his lungs to his brain.

“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,” he said.

The news of his death was announced on Friday (2 February) on the presenter’s Instagram account.

In December 2022, Irwin revealed he was forced to keep working following his terminal cancer diagnosis because he failed to take out critical illness cover.

Appearing on ITV’s breakfast show This Morning, Irwin told hosts Gethin Jones and Kimberley Walsh that he wished he had done things differently.

“When you get a terminal diagnosis, [the insurance] covers you for when you’re gone,” he said.

“But a terminal diagnosis can go on for years and it will affect… your illness affects your work, so if you’re unable to work and you’re waiting for this payout, who is going to pay the rent?

“So critical illness is a policy you take alongside that and that kicks in as soon as you’re ill.”

Failing to take out critical illness cover so has proved to be a major source of stress, Irwin admitted.

“I didn’t take that and that put a lot of pressure on having to work on days when I didn’t want to go to work, and that’s one mistake I say to everyone,” he said.

Jonnie Irwin in 2010 at the TV Choice Awards

(Getty Images)

Throughout his treatment, Irwin had been working tirelessly to renovate his family home in Newcastle, and had been sharing progress on his renovations with his fans on social media.

He first became aware something was wrong during filming in August 2020. After experiencing blurred vision while driving, he sought medical advice and was “given six months to live”.

The host initially kept his illness a secret, but went public in December 2022 after learning the cancer had spread from his lungs to his brain.

He told Hello! magazine, that he “doesn’t know how long I have”, but hopes his words will inspire people to “make the most of every day”.

Irwin claimed he was dropped by the Channel 4 show after he told them about his terminal diagnosis, alleging that the broadcaster “pushed him aside for someone healthier”.

“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,” he told The Sun.

Just two weeks later, “someone else was on TV doing my job”, Irwin said, adding: “I just feel I’d earned a bit more from them after 18 years.”

Irwin on ‘A Place in the Sun’

(Channel 4)

“It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Jonnie’s passing. A truly remarkable soul, he fought bravely against cancer with unwavering strength and courage. Jonnie touched the lives of so many with his kindness, warmth, and infectious spirit,” the post announcing Irwin’s death on Friday 2 February said, alonside a photo of Irwin and his wife Jessica Holmes.

“At this time, we kindly ask for the privacy of Jonnie’s family as they navigate through this profound loss. Their grief is immeasurable, and your thoughts, prayers, and support are deeply appreciated.

“As we remember the beautiful moments shared with Jonnie, let us celebrate a life well-lived and a legacy that will forever be etched in our hearts. Jonnie may be gone from our sight, but his love, laughter, and memories will live on.

“Rest in peace, dear Jonnie. You will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.”

Follow the latest tributes here.


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