A Place In The Sun star Jonnie Irwin has jetted off to Paris with his wife Jessica Holmes following his heartbreaking revelation that he has terminal cancer.
The presenter, 48, admitted to fans in an Instagram post on Friday that he has found the past week surreal after opening up about his diagnosis.
In a post on his Instagram page, Jonny also admitted that he was overwhelmed by the messages he has received.
Holiday: A Place In The Sun star Jonnie Irwin has flown to Paris with his wife Jessica Holmes following his heartbreaking revelation that he has terminal cancer
He told his followers: ‘It’s been one hell of a week. I am overwhelmed by the lovely messages thank you so much. As moving as it has been, I’ve also found it quite surreal, almost like we’re talking about someone else.’
Paying tribute to his loving wife Jessica Holmes, Jonnie wrote: “By my side through this whole thing is my wife so I thought we’d take us to Paris for the weekend.
‘We could only do this with the help of my family, in particular my amazing sisters who dropped everything and have driven up to the Toon to look after the boy band. We have a great time. Thanks so much. xxx. #family #onelife #paris.’
Tough: The presenter, 48, admitted to fans in an Instagram post on Friday that he has found the past week surreal after opening up about his diagnosis
The couple were pictured by Notre Dame Cathedral as they looked down the camera lens against the backdrop of the Seine.
Jonnie has been diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to his brain.
The Escape to the Country presenter revealed he has been secretly battling the terminal illness and was given six months to live two years ago.
As a married father of three – son Rex, three, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac – he said he hoped sharing his diagnosis would inspire others to “make the most of every day”.
Type: In a post on his Instagram page, Jonny also admitted he was overwhelmed by the messages he has been receiving
The former estate agent’s television career began in 2004 when he was selected from hundreds of applicants to co-present Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun with Jasmine Harman.
In 2010 he won more fans by becoming a regular host of Escape to the Country on BBC1.
Last week he revealed that he has been battling lung cancer which tragically spread to his brain.
He told Hello magazine: ‘I’m carrying a dirty secret – it’s become a monkey on my back. I don’t know how long I have left, but I’m trying to be positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it. I put little markers – things I want to be involved in. I got into the habit of saying, ‘Don’t plan ahead because I might not feel well’.
Private battle: Jonnie, who shares three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with wife Jessica, said last week he had chosen to keep his illness private until now
“But now I want to make plans. I want to make memories and capture these moments with my family because the reality is that my boys will grow up not knowing their father and it breaks my heart.’
Jonnie was diagnosed with cancer while filming Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun in Italy in 2020. He had been driving when his vision blurred and doctors at home discovered he was terminally ill. Cancer drugs and chemotherapy have helped prolong his life.
The Leicestershire-born presenter is supported by his wife Jessica, 40. He said: “Within a week of flying back from filming I was given six months to live. I had to go home and tell my wife, who took taking care of our kids, that she was pretty much alone. It was devastating. All I could do was apologize to her. I felt so responsible.
Journey: The TV star, 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. He has tried to work while secretly receiving chemotherapy
The couple live with their three children in Newcastle, having moved there from Hertfordshire in 2020.
Jonnie said he had chosen to keep his illness private until now. His case is reminiscent of Dame Deborah James’s battle with bowel cancer, which she chose to make public to raise awareness and fund research.
He said: “I can inspire people living with life-limiting prospects to make the most of each day, to help them see that you can live a positive life, even though you are dying.” One day this will catch up with me, but I’m doing everything I can to keep the day off as long as possible.
Career: Jonnie (formed with Jasmine Harman 2004), presents Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun and BBC’s Escape To The Country
‘I owe it 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.’
He has also urged people to get life insurance, which he finally decided to do when his twins were born.
He told Hello: “It’s helped so much and when I leave this planet I’ll do so knowing that Jess and the boys are in a house that’s fully paid for and there’s some money in the bank for them to live on . .’
Shock: Irwin, pictured here in 2010 at the TV Choice Awards, said he got the first warning signs of his illness in 2020
Jonnie appeared on A Place In the Sun from 2004 until last year and was its longest-serving presenter, alongside co-star Jasmine Harman, who is still on the show.
The Channel 4 series has run for 462 episodes since it first aired on UK screens in September 2000 and still pulls in around 472,000 viewers a week, according to recent figures.
He first appeared in Escape to the Country in 2010.
Jonnie’s social media was flooded with well wishes and messages of support in the wake of the news.
From Lutterworth to Lanzarote: How former estate agent Jonnie Irwin’s TV career took off after beating hundreds to present A Place in the Sun
TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has revealed he is suffering from terminal cancer and says he hopes sharing his terminal cancer diagnosis will inspire others to ‘make the most of every day’
Jonnie Irwin was born in 1973 and grew up in Bitteswell, Leicestershire, attending Lutterworth Grammar School and Community College before becoming an estate agent.
In 2004, Irwin was selected from hundreds of applicants alongside co-presenter Jasmine Harman to present Channel 4’s show A Place In The Sun – Home or Away. The real estate show was a surprise hit and was widely syndicated. Irwin also regularly presents the BBC’s Escape To The Country and To Buy Or Not To Buy.
In January 2011, Sky 1 aired Irwin’s own show called Dream Lives for Sale, where he helped people leave their lives in the UK to buy their dream business.
Later that year he started a new series The Renovation Game which aired weekday mornings on Channel 4.
As well as presenting, he is also commercial director of Judicare, which describes itself as a “specialist law firm providing clients with legal advice on all matters relating to foreign property”.
Irwin married Jessica Holmes in September 2016. Together they have three sons and lived in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire before moving to Newcastle.
On November 13, Irwin was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He told Hello magazine: “I don’t know how long I have left, but I’m trying to be positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it.”
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