Jonnie Irwin has said there’s “no need” to yell at his kids about his terminal cancer diagnosis as they’re “too young” to understand.
The A Place In The Sun star, 49, shares sons Rex, three, and twins Rafa and Cormac, two, with wife Jessica Holmes, 40 – but he has just months to live while he battles terminal cancer .
During an appearance on Good Morning Britain on Thursday, Jonnie explained that he and Jessica had “considered” telling their boys but decided against it for the time being as “it’s going to be a lot for them to figure out”.
Decision: Jonnie Irwin has said there’s “no need” to yell at his kids about his terminal cancer diagnosis as they’re “too young” to understand
Describing his predicament to hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard, Jonnie said: “It was only recently that I was thinking about when we’re going to tell them they’re so young.
“Right now I am me, albeit a thinner version, no need to tell them that. I think it will be a lot for them to find their way around.
On how he’s coping with his diagnosis, he shared: “I’m trying my best to bury my head in the sand because what’s the point of spending the day thinking about cancer when you have gas bills to worry about.
Family: The 49-year-old presenter has son Rex, three, and twins Rafa and Cormac, two, with wife Jessica Holmes, but has just months to live as he battles cancer
“The cost of living is an issue because I won’t see it, but my family will.”
Co-parents Susanna went on to suggest that kids “live in the moment,” and Jonnie agreed, adding, “let the good times roll on for as long as possible for now.”
During the same emotional interview, Jonnie revealed his hopes of spending his final days with loved ones and capturing the moments on film for his kids to see when they’re older.
Choice: Jonnie explained that he and Jessica “considered” telling their boys but decided against it for now as “it’s going to be a lot for them to figure out”.
He explained: “I’m all about creating memories, I know my kids are so young they won’t remember me.
“I’d like to at least get it on camera or film to show them the early days were brilliant. I think our house for Christmas will be extravagant.’
Jonnie had just six months to live when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in August 2020, which has spread to his brain – just two months after giving birth to his twin sons.
It comes as A Place In The Sun bosses expressed their condolences to host Jonnie after he slammed the show for axing him while he was battling terminal cancer.
Tough: Describing his predicament to hosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard, Jonnie said: “I’ve only recently been thinking about when are we going to tell them they’re so young.”
Emotionally: “At the moment I am me, albeit in a thinner version, you don’t have to tell them that. I think it will be a lot for her to turn her head.
The presenter had just six months to live when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in August 2020, which has 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, who are making the program, said they were “unable to secure adequate insurance coverage” to allow him to continue filming internationally amid the Covid-19 crisis and said they were “resolving his frustration” understand about the decision.
Sending a message: A Place In The Sun bosses have expressed their sympathy to host Jonnie after he hit out on the show for axing him while he was battling terminal cancer
A statement released to Web 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.
“Loved dearly by everyone on the production, no stone was left unturned to enable Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid, however the production company were unable to secure adequate insurance coverage for him.
“Although we were unable to continue filming with him abroad, we are delighted that he has been able to remain 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 a Kind: The former real estate agent’s TV career began in 2004 when he was selected from hundreds of applicants to co-present with Jasmine Harman on Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun
The former real estate agent’s TV career began in 2004 when he was selected from hundreds of applicants to co-present with Jasmine Harman on Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun.
He was the longest serving host on the program 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.
Journey: Earlier this month, Web spotted footage of Jonnie sipping Apulian olive oil on his recent journey for A Place in the Sun in 2020, before discovering he had terminal cancer
Addressing the decision 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 thought 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 anymore has impacted my mental health. I’m a family man now but being a TV presenter defines you and not being able to travel and provide for my family.
He added in a chat with The Sun: “Within two weeks someone else was on TV doing my job, I just feel like after 18 years I deserve a little bit more from them. It was my first job in television and it was special for me.”
Jonnie’s diagnosis came while filming Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun in Italy in 2020 after experiencing 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 helped prolong his life.
From Lutterworth to Lanzarote: How former estate agent Jonnie Irwin’s television career began after beating hundreds to present A Place in the Sun
TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has revealed he has terminal cancer and he hopes sharing his terminal cancer diagnosis will inspire others to “make the most of each 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-host Jasmine Harman, was selected from hundreds of applicants to present Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun – Home Or Away. The real estate program was a surprise hit and was widely syndicated. Irwin also regularly presents the BBC series Escape To The Country and To Buy Or Not To Buy.
In January 2011, Sky 1 aired Irwin’s own show entitled ‘Dream Lives for Sale’ in which he helped people give up 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.
Outside of presenting, he is also Commercial Director of Judicare, which describes itself as a “specialist law firm providing clients with legal advice on all foreign property matters”.
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 but I’m trying to stay positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it.”