Jonnie Irwin says he’s been ‘close to death’s door twice, at least’

Jonnie Irwin has discussed his ongoing health issues in a typically candid interview, as he continues to deal with terminal cancer.

The A Place in the Sun star, 49, has detailed his journey since disclosing his diagnosis to the public last year.

Appearing on the new podcast OneChat, he emphasised that he prefers to think of his situation as “living with cancer, rather than dying from cancer”.

Irwin, who has three young children with his wife, Jess, explained how he began to feel “alive” again after going public with his illness, but noted that didn’t mean his journey had been easy.

“I have been close to death’s door, twice at least,” he said.”

He added: “You lose your memory, you lose your patience. I have got a very short temper. It’s not made me a better person, that’s for sure.”

He expressed his frustration with the way he had been treated by

“As soon as you say you’ve got cancer, people just write you off, people just think you are going to cark it,” he said.

As an example of this, he told of how he had been dropped from his presenting role on A Place in the Sun after telling showrunners about his illness.

“Unfortunately, one of the companies claimed they couldn’t insure me and so they didn’t renew my contract and left a massive hole in my income,” he said.

Jonnie Irwin with his wife, Jess, on a trip to Paris last year (Instagram/Jonnie Irwin)
Jonnie Irwin with his wife, Jess, on a trip to Paris last year (Instagram/Jonnie Irwin)

In a statement issued in November last year, the show’s producers Freeform Productions said that they had been unable to secure adequate insurance cover to allow Irwin 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,” a spokesperson 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.

“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.”