TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and says that he hopes sharing his diagnosis will inspire others to “make the most of every day”.
The 48-year-old, who presents Channel 4 ’s A Place In The Sun and the BBC ’s Escape To The Country, revealed his lung cancer had spread to his brain, saying: “I don’t know how long I have left.”
Irwin revealed the first warning sign of his illness came while he was filming A Place In The Sun in August 2020 in Italy, when his vision became blurry while driving.
“Within a week of flying back from filming, I was being given six months to live,” he said.
“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.”
Irwin, who shares three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica, said he had chosen to keep his illness private until now.
He told Hello magazine : “It’s got to the point now where it feels like I’m carrying a dirty secret, it’s become a monkey on my back.
“I hope that by shaking that monkey off I might inspire people who are living with life-limiting prospects to make the most of every day, to help them see that you can live a positive life, even though you are dying.
“One day, this is going to catch up with me, but I’m doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible.
“I owe that to Jess and our boys. Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family.”