Jonnie Irwin: A Place in the Sun star Jonnie Irwin reveals his terminal cancer
Jonnie Irwin has revealed he has terminal cancer, saying he hopes to inspire others by sharing his story.
In an interview with Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun and the BBC’s Escape to the Country, the 48-year-old said that his lung cancer had spread to his brain, and he had no idea how long he had left. In August 2020, Irwin said he became ill during the filming of A Place in the Sun when his vision became blurry while driving. “Within a week of returning from filming, I was given six months to live,” he said.
“I had to go home and tell my wife, who was looking after our babies, that she was on her own pretty much. That was devastating. All I could do was apologize to her. I felt so responsible.”
After Irwin’s absence from the show and his changed appearance when he returned this summer, there had been speculation about his family life after he and his wife Jessica have a three-year-old son, Rex, and twins, Rafa and Cormac.
He said: “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.
“One day, this will catch up with me, but I’m doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible.
“I owe that to Jess and our boys. Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family.”
He said he continued to work as much as possible and was taking the attitude “that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it”.
The father of two said he wanted to make memories for his family because “my boys won’t know their dad as they grow up, and that breaks my heart”.
Additionally, Jonnie Irwin encourages people to take out life insurance, saying it has been comforting for him to know that when he dies, his wife and children will have a paid-off house and some money in the bank.