Jonnie Irwin: Channel 4 presenter on his cancer diagnosis

TV presenter Jonnie Irwin announced his terminal cancer diagnosis last month.

Irwin, known for hosting Channel 4 A place in the Sun and BBC’s escape to the country has since made a number of public comments about his illness and its impact on him and his family.

The 49-year-old shares three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica.

Here’s everything Irwin has said about his diagnosis so far.

Irwin announces that he has terminal cancer

In an exclusive interview with Hi! magazine Irwin, released Nov. 14, said he decided to go public with his illness after learning his lung cancer had spread to his brain.

Jonnie Irwin and his family


“I don’t know how long I have left,” he told the publication.

He said he first realized something was wrong in August 2020 when he experienced blurry vision while filming A place in the Sun. “Within a week of flying back from filming,” he said, he had “six months to live.”

“I had to go home and tell my wife who was taking care of our babies that she was pretty much alone,” he said, adding, “It was devastating. I could only apologize to her. I felt so responsible.”

He says he didn’t tell his kids

Elsewhere in Hi! In an interview, Irwin was asked if he had told his children that their father didn’t have much time.

“He doesn’t need to know yet,” Irwin replied, referring to his eldest son.

“We make fun of my hair – he calls it my ‘spiky head’ – but as far as he’s concerned his father is normal and why should I destroy that innocence?”

Irwin added that he wants to spend as much time as possible with his family in the remaining time.

“I want to create memories and capture those moments with my family because the reality is my boys will be growing up not knowing their father and it breaks my heart.”

Irwin claims he was fired from Channel 4 due to his diagnosis

In a Nov. 23 interview with The sun, The TV star claimed Channel 4 “shoved him aside for someone healthier”. A place in the Sun.

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“When I said I could get you letters and assurances from my oncologist that I was fit to work, I was literally told, ‘Oh, you really don’t want to go that route, do you?'”

Irwin continued, “They said, ‘We don’t think we can get the insurance,’ not ‘We can’t get the insurance,’ but ‘We don’t think…’ It broke my heart and affected my mental health.”

Just two weeks later, “somebody else was on TV and did my job,” Irwin said, adding, “I just feel like after 18 years I deserve a little more from them.”

Show officials told the publication: “Every effort was made to enable Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid, but the production company were unable to secure adequate insurance coverage for him.

“Obviously we understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time.”

He worries that his young children will not remember him

Also in The sun In an interview, Irwin expressed his fears that if he died this year, his children would forget him.

“Every time something really nice happens to them, this thing knocks on my door and says, ‘Don’t be too happy because you won’t be around much longer,'” he said.

“Then I guess they won’t remember me, they really don’t. They are too young and if I die this year there is no chance they will have memories.”

Irwin continued, “Probably someone else will bring it up. I did the hard yards with them and someone else will get the easy part.

Irwin implores people to stop coddling people with cancer

Appearing on the BBC chat show Live tomorrow On Thursday (December 15), Irwin said people started making decisions for him when they heard he had cancer and decided not to invite him to events because of his diagnosis.

“We don’t need mollycoddling,” he said. “We are normal people, as normal as it gets. So treat us like you would two years ago.

“We’re normal people, just like everyone else, and we want the same opportunities for fun and life as everyone else.” Jonnie Irwin: Channel 4 presenter on his cancer diagnosis


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