Jonnie Irwin claims he was fired as A Place in the Sun host due to terminal cancer diagnosis

‘I feel I’d earned a bit more from them after 18 years,’ he says

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 24 November 2022 11:56 GMT

Jonnie Irwin says he withheld cancer diagnosis because ‘people treat you differently’

A Place in the Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin has claimed he was dropped by the Channel 4 show because of his terminal cancer diagnosis.

The TV star, who recently went public with his diagnosis, has alleged that Channel 4 “pushed him aside for someone healthier”.

Irwin claimed on Wednesday (23 November) that, while support remains from his other show Escape to the Country, no such help came from A Place in the Sun after telling them the news in 2021. He apparently told showrunners that he “wanted to work”.

The host, 48, initially kept his illness a secret, but decided to make the news public earlier this month after learning the cancer had spread from his lungs to his brain.

He said in the latest issue of Hello! Magazine, that he he “doesn’t know how long I have”, but hopes his words will inspire people to “make the most of every day”.

But, according to Irwin, coming forward with the diagnosis cost him his job at Channel 4. He told The Sun: “When I said I can get you doctor notes and assurances from my oncologist that I am fit to work, I was told, verbatim, ‘Oh, you really don’t want to go down that route, do you?’

Irwin continued: “They said, ‘We don’t think we can get the insurance,’ not ‘We can’t get the insurance,’ but, ‘We don’t think…’ That broke my heart and affected my mental health.”

Just two weeks later, “someone else was on TV doing my job”, Irwin said, adding: “I just feel I’d earned a bit more from them after 18 years.”

Representatives told the publication: “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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“We, of course, understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time.”

The Independent has contacted Channel 4 and Freeform for comment.

Jonnie Irwin claims he was fired from ‘A Place in the Sun’ because of terminal cancer diagnosis

Irwin previously said he first became aware something was wrong while filming A Place in the Sun in August 2020. He experienced blurry vision while driving and, “within a week of flying back from filming” he said he was “given six months to live”.

The presenter has opened up about his fears that his young children will not remember him if he dies this year.. He has a three-year-old son named Rex, and two-year-old twins named Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica.

“Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family.”

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