A Place in the Sun: 'No stone unturned trying to keep Jonnie Irwin after cancer diagnosis'
The makers of the Channel 4 show said they were unable to secure adequate insurance.
The makers of A Place in the Sun have said that “no stone was left unturned” in their attempt to enable presenter Jonnie Irwin to continue on the show following his terminal cancer diagnosis.
The 48-year-old presenter, who has appeared on the Channel 4 property programme since 2004, revealed earlier this month that he has lung cancer which has spread to his brain, and he has been given six months to live.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier today, Irwin, who also appears on the BBC show Escape to the Country, said: “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.”
He said that not working on the show “affected [his] mental health", adding: “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.”
In a statement to RadioTimes.com, A Place in the Sun producers Freeform Productions said that they were ultimately “unable to secure adequate insurance cover” for Irwin to allow him to film abroad.
“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,” they said.
“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.
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“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.”
Irwin told Good Morning Britain that he initially kept the illness private “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,” he added.
He said that he eventually decided to go public “to empower people in my position and to educate those without cancer,” urging: “Treat us normally, treat us with respect.”
The presenter went on to reveal that despite this, he has decided not to tell his three young children about his diagnosis.
“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,” he said, adding that he was currently focusing on “making memories” with his children “to show them the early days were brilliant”.