Sad news was revealed last night when it was confirmed that Escape to the Country presenter Jonnie Irwin had died after fighting against cancer since 2020. He was aged just 50 and leaves behind a beloved wife and three young boys.
The A Place in the Sun host had no idea anything was wrong and the cancer only came to light when he was driving. He suddenly started to suffer from blurred vision when he was driving in Italy for the property show.
When he got back home he was initially told he had six months to live after being diagnosed with lung cancer – which had spread to his brain. He said last year: “Within a week of flying back from filming, I was being given six months to live.”
“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 apologise to her. I felt so responsible.”
The much-loved presenter shared how he travelled overseas for treatment, but the medical procedure caused irreversible damage to his liver.
Jonnie kept his illness private until last year as he said he did not want people to treat him differently, pointing out he still needed to work.Unfortunately Jonnie, originally from Leicestershire and who moved to the North East to be near wife Jessica’s family, by the time it was diagnosed, the cancer was advanced.
Lung cancer symptoms which people need to look out for include shortness of breath or chest pain and people are advices to see their GP if they’ve had a cough for longer than three weeks. Speak to a GP if you notice a lump in your breast or if you have a lump that’s noticeably increasing in size elsewhere on your body.
It’s important to regularly check your breasts, underarms, groin and testicles for any new lumps or changes. You should also speak to a GP if you’ve lost a lot of weight over the last couple of months that cannot be explained by changes to your diet, exercise or stress.
After the deaht was announced Jonnie’s wife Jessica paid emotional tribute in a heartbreaking message: “Good night my favourite. Thank you for everything. I will always love you. The hardest day has come, a day I prayed wouldn’t come. It’s with all the the saddness in the world that I confirm Jonnie has passed away earlier today. His magical brain that continued to fight to the end has now gone to sleep.
“He has given me more than I could ever have wished for, 8 bonkers years of love and adventure and 3 amazing boys. I will continue to make you proud but only with your love still finding me and guiding me for the rest of my life, me and the boys still need you.
“Jonnie you really were the most handsome man I ever knew and I am so sorry for this cruel end. It really wasn’t fair and you didn’t deserve any of this. You gave so much time to others and touched everyone you met, I have never experienced anything like the effect you had on people. I love you so much and forever proud of you xxx”