Heartbroken Jonnie Irwin fears young children ‘won’t remember him’ when he dies
TV presenter Jonnie Irwin says he worries his young children are “not going to remember me” if he dies this year, having been previously diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Jonnie, 49, was diagnosed with the illness in 2020 but shared the news for the first time this month.
The broadcaster shares three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica.
Jonnie, who presents Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun and the BBC’s Escape To The Country, said it was hard to see nice things happen for his family, knowing that he was “not going to be around much longer”.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper he said: “Every time something really nice happens with them, I have this thing knocking at my door, saying, ‘Don’t get too happy because you’re not going to be around much longer’.
“Then I think they’re not going to remember me, they’re really not.
“They’re too young and if I die this year there’s no chance they will have memories.”
He added: “Someone else is probably going to bring them up. I’ve done the hard yards with them and someone else will get the easy bit.”
Jonnie was initially given six months to live, but has outlived doctor’s predictions with the help of medication, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
He just accused Channel 4 and the A Place In The Sun staff for axing him from the show due to his cancer diagnosis.
“As soon as people find out you’ve got cancer they write you off. Yes, I have stage four and it’s terminal — but not yet, so let me live my life while I can,” he told The Sun.
“As soon as I told A Place In The Sun about my diagnosis they paid me for the rest of the season but didn’t renew my contract. They knew I wanted to carry on.
“That hurt. That broke my heart. I feel hugely let down. I can’t even watch the show now.”
While no longer starring on A Place In The Sun, Jonnie has continued to work on other projects throughout his treatment, including Countryfile.
Earlier this month, Irwin said he did not know “how much time I have left” after his lung cancer spread to his brain.
He 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.
Irwin previously said he hoped sharing his diagnosis would inspire others to “make the most of every day”, and encouraged people to take out life insurance.
He said he had chosen to keep his illness private until recently.
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