Jonnie Irwin: A Place In The Sun star reveals big insurance mistake he made after terminal cancer diagnosis

Irwin revealed the first warning sign of his illness came while he was filming A Place In The Sun

Jonnie Irwin has revealed the one mistake he has made following his terminal cancer diagnosis.

The 48-year-old TV presenter shared the news earlier this year, saying he hopes it will inspire others to “make the most of every day”. But he has spoken about his big mistake following the diagnosis.

Irwin, 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, telling Hello magazine: “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.”

The TV presenter is also encouraging people to take out life insurance. He added: “That has helped so much and when I leave this planet, I’ll do so knowing Jess and the boys are in a house that is fully paid off and there’s a bit of money in the bank for them to live off.”

However during an appearance on Morning Live on Thursday (15 December), he warned others not to make the same mistake he did when taking out the insurance. Daily Express reports he said: So when you get a terminal diagnosis, it covers you for when you’re gone, probably the last few months.

“But terminal diagnosis’ can go on for years and it will affect...your illness affects your work, so if you’re unable to work and you’re waiting for this payout, who is going to pay the rent? So critical illness is a policy you take alongside that and that kicks in as soon as you’re ill.

“I didn’t take that and that took a lot of a lot of pressure on having to work on days when I didn’t want to go to work, and that’s one mistake I say to everyone.”

What has Jonnie Irwin said about his cancer diagnosis?

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 said: “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.

Jonnie IrwinJonnie Irwin
Jonnie Irwin

“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.” Irwin has continued to work as much as possible.

He said: “I don’t know how long I have left, but I try to stay positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it. I set little markers, things I want to be around for. I got into the habit of saying ‘Don’t plan ahead because I might not be well enough.’

“But now I want to make plans. I want to make memories and capture these moments with my family because the reality is, my boys are going to grow up not knowing their dad and that breaks my heart.”

Fans had previously noticed his change in appearance during a recent episode of Escape to the Country. He was sporting a shaved head instead of his usual haircut. It had led some to question if the presenter was OK.

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