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TV presenter Jonnie Irwin dies aged 50

Jonnie hosted Channel 4's A Place In The Sun

Broadcasting

TV presenter Jonnie Irwin dies aged 50

Jonnie Irwin, who presented Channel 4’s property lifestyle programme A Place In The Sun, has died at the age of 50.

Irwin was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020.

A statement from his family read:

“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.

“At this time, we kindly ask for the privacy of Jonnie’s family as they navigate through this profound loss.”

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

Jonnie on Escape to the Country for BBC Two

While filming A Place In The Sun in Italy, his vision became blurry while driving, and he was given only six months to live upon receiving his diagnosis. He initially considered his illness a private matter and it wasn’t until December 2022 that he first spoke about it publicly.

He told Hello magazine at the time:

“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.”

Irwin also accused Channel 4 of dropping him from A Place In The Sun because of his illness. In a tabloid interview, he revealed how Freeform Productions had ‘paid him off’ and not renewed his contract, leaving him feeling low.

In a statement the production company and Channel 4 said they had looked at all options to enable Jonnie to continue on the programme however they could not get insurance for him to shoot abroad.

Jonnie hosted Sky One’s Dream Lives for Sale

Irwin began presenting the Channel 4 show in 2004, filming more than 200 episodes. Starting in 2010 he also hosted Escape To The Country for the BBC, which follows a similar format of British people looking to change their lives by finding new homes and in Sky One’s Dream Lives for Sale, he helped people buy businesses abroad.

Irwin is survived by his wife Jessica and their three children – a son named Rex and twins, Rafa and Cormac.

Rob Unsworth, Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning paid tribute:

“Jonnie Irwin was an extraordinary man and wonderful presenter. He brought such warmth and fun to Escape to the Country, where he was a firm favourite with not just viewers, but the production team too.

“More recently, he did some truly inspirational reports for Morning Live about his illness, tackling taboos around end-of-life care, and wonderfully demonstrating the limitless positivity that he brought to everything he did. His kindness will be hugely missed by everyone he worked with, and we are sending all of our thoughts to his family and friends at this sad time.”

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