Jonnie Irwin on revealing cancer diagnosis
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Jonnie Irwin was dropped from A Place in the Sun after filling more than 200 episodes of the Channel 4 show. After accusing the show of not “fighting for him” A Place in the Sun production company Freeform Productions and Channel 4 released a statement sharing their support for the presenter.
The statement read: “Jonnie has been a hugely important part of the A Place in The Sun family for over 18 years and all of us were deeply saddened by his diagnosis.
“Much loved by everyone on the production, no stone was left unturned in trying to enable Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid but the production company were unable to secure adequate insurance cover for him.
“Whilst we were unable to continue to film abroad with him, we’re delighted that he was able to remain as part of our team in the UK for exhibitions.
“We of course understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time.”
Read more: Jonnie Irwin’s tragic fear behind keeping cancer secret came true
On Thursday, Jonnie appeared on Good Morning Britain in his first TV interview following his terminal cancer diagnosis.
The presenter admitted he wanted to keep the sad news hidden at first.
He explained: “I wanted to keep it a secret because professionally, I didn’t want to lose work but also socially and emotionally, people treat you differently and people start making decisions for you.
“If I withheld that information, I found I could live a normal life right up until a year ago.”
Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard quizzed the star on his contract for A Place in the Sun not being renewed.
Jonnie shared: “I feel massively aggrieved. When I was told I couldn’t do A Place in the Sun because they didn’t think they could get insurance, it just broke my heart. I just didn’t think they even fought for me.
“Not working on A Place in the Sun anymore, that affected my mental health.
“Being a TV presenter almost defines you and not being able to travel and not being able to provide for my family – every show I do now is money for my family in the future.”
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“I’m going public, to empower people in my position and to educate those without cancer,” he noted.
“Treat us normally, treat us with respect. We want the same respect any human being deserves, don’t make decisions for us that’s…why we’re keeping it a secret.”
The Escape to the Country presenter revealed he was overwhelmed by the support from the BBC show and other employers.
He vented: “Comparing [Channel 4] with A Place in the Sun Live, the exhibition company and Escape to the Country, I’ve been bowled over by their help.”
Speaking about his young family, Jonnie said: “It’s only been recently that I’ve considered when we’re going to tell them because the twins are two and a half years old and Rex is four at Christmas – so they’re so young.
“At the moment I don’t think there’s any need to tell them, it’ll be a lot for them to get their heads around.”
“I try my best to put my head in the sand as much as possible, because what’s the point in spending your days thinking about cancer when you could be thinking about something more interesting like the gas bill. The cost of living is a concern, it’s an added pressure on the current situation.”
He added: “Now is about making memories – as I’m sure they won’t remember me – to show them the early days were brilliant.”
A Place in the Sun airs on Channel 4 on weekdays at 3pm.
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