A Place In The Sun presenter Jasmine Harman has led the tributes for her co-host Jonnie Irwin following his death at the age of 50 from cancer.
Jonnie tragically lost his battle with lung cancer aged 50 on Friday, his wife Jessica Holmes announced in a heartbreaking tribute.
Taking to Instagram she described her beloved partner, with whom she shares sons Rex, four, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac, as a ‘truly remarkable husband’.
The TV host revealed in November 2022 that his cancer had spread to his brain after first being diagnosed with the disease in 2020.
Shortly after news of his death was announced, Jasmine shared some heartfelt words on social media.
A Place In The Sun presenter Jasmine Harman (left) has led tributes for her co-host Jonnie Irwin (right) following his death at the age of 50 from cancer
Jonnie tragically lost his battle with lung cancer aged 50, his wife Jessica Holmes announced in a heartbreaking tribute on Friday (Jonnie and Jasmine pictured)
Shortly after news of his death was announced, Jasmine shared some heartfelt words on social media
Sharing a picture of them looking off towards a sunset, she wrote: ‘Jonnie Irwin – I will always remember the first time I heard your name. When I was doing a screen test for a new show, they said “we definitely want Jonnie, but we need to find another presenter”. I wondered who this mysterious Jonnie was. We met in Cape Town, filming the pilot. You we’re so charismatic and energetic, so confident and fun. I understood immediately why they had to have you.
‘Your cheeky-chappy persona and naughty sense of humour always broke the ice and made people laugh. Everyone warmed to you and you had the incredible ability to connect with people, making them feel like they’d known you for years.
‘To begin our TV careers together was a pleasure and a privilege I will be eternally grateful for. Almost twenty years ago, as two nervous new presenters (me perhaps more nervous than you!) little did we know we know about the adventure we were about to embark on, and the friends we would become.
‘Professionally, you were well suited to life in front of the lens. But for years, you always talked about wanting to settle down and become a dad. Your wish was granted when you met Jess. Never were you happier than in your role as husband and Dad to the most awesome three boys – you are a legend.
‘Life is simply not fair. We can’t reason with it; there are no answers to the question Why?
‘We can, in your memory learn to cherish every hug, every conversation, every moment, for the priceless time we have. Enjoy every breath, every sunrise and sunset, never take anything for granted, because tomorrow is not promised.
‘Jonnie, you’ve taught me so much in our time as work colleagues and as good friends. I have never admired you more than over the last few years as you’ve faced life with cancer with positivity, determination and bloody mindedness. I’ve never known anyone as strong as you. You have done yourself, your loved ones and all of us proud.
‘The world is a little darker today without you, but I will always smile when I think of you. My partner in crime, my OG co-presenter – Jonnie, I will miss you.’
Jasmine and Jonnie presented A Place In The Sun alongside one another from 2004 to 2019
A Place in The Sun’s Jonnie tragically lost his battle with lung cancer aged 50, his wife Jessica Holmes announced in a heartbreaking tribute on Friday
Taking to Instagram she described her beloved partner as a ‘truly remarkable husband’
Jonnie’s wife Jessica announced the sad news of his death on social media on Friday.
Sharing a picture of her and Jonnie, Jessica wrote on Instagram: ‘It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Jonnie’s passing. A truly remarkable soul, he fought bravely against cancer with unwavering strength and courage
‘Jonnie touched the lives of so many with his kindness, warmth, and infectious spirit.
‘At this time, we kindly ask for the privacy of Jonnie’s family as they navigate through this profound loss. Their grief is immeasurable, and your thoughts, prayers, and support are deeply appreciated.
‘As we remember the beautiful moments shared with Jonnie, let us celebrate a life well-lived and a legacy that will forever be etched in our hearts. Jonnie may be gone from our sight, but his love, laughter, and memories will live on.’
‘Rest in peace, dear Jonnie. You will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.’
Sharing a picture of Jonnie laughing at a dinner party, Jessica wrote separately in another post on Instagram: ‘Good night my favourite. Thank you for everything. I will always love you.
‘The hardest day has come, a day I prayed wouldn’t come.
Sharing a picture of Jonnie laughing at a dinner party, Jessica wrote separately in another post on Instagram: ‘Good night my favourite. Thank you for everything. I will always love you’
‘It’s with all the the sadness in the world that I confirm Jonnie has passed away earlier today.
‘His magical brain that continued to fight to the end has now gone to sleep.
‘He has given me more than I could ever have wished for, 8 bonkers years of love and adventure and 3 amazing boys.
‘I will continue to make you proud but only with your love still finding me and guiding me for the rest of my life, me and the boys still need you.
‘Jonnie you really were the most handsome man I ever knew and I am so sorry for this cruel end. It really wasn’t fair and you didn’t deserve any of this.
‘You gave so much time to others and touched everyone you met, I have never experienced anything like the effect you had on people.
‘I love you so much and forever proud of you xxx.’
Under the post, Jasmine also wrote: ‘My heart is broken.’
Bosses of Jonnie’s television show A Place In The Sun shared a tribute on Instagram.
Under a picture of the broadcaster, a message read: ‘Jonnie Irwin 1973 – 2024. We are heartbroken. Jonnie was a much-loved part of the A Place in the Sun family for more than 18 years – he brought joy, wit and bundles of energy to the show.
‘We will miss him terribly. Our thoughts are with Jess and the boys ad the rest of the family.’
Bosses of Jonnie’s television show A Place In The Sun shared a tribute on Instagram
Sharing a picture of Jonnie in front of the camera in a sunny location, Scarlette Douglas, who presented A Place In The Sun between 2015 and 2022, paid tribute
Danni Menzies, who joined the A Place In The Sun presenting team in 2016 shared a quote on her Instagram Stories
Fellow television presenter Nicki Chapman also paid tribute to Jonnie
Former Escape to the Country host Sonali Shah wrote: ‘I feel so lucky to have known Jonnie. Sending you love xxx’
Astrologer and media personality Russell Grant wrote on Twitter: ‘I am so deeply deeply upset that Jonnie Irwin has left us’
Sharing a picture of Jonnie in front of the camera in a sunny location, Scarlette Douglas, who presented A Place In The Sun between 2015 and 2022 wrote on Instagram: ‘May the sun always shine on you Jonnie. RIP.’
Danni Menzies, who joined the A Place In The Sun presenting team in 2016 shared a quote on her Instagram Stories.
It read: ‘When we die, I want to believe that we are scattered throughout all the people that have ever loved us. That we will continue to exist in them. In their bloodstream. For generations. For lifetimes.’
She added: ‘You will Jonnie xxx.’
Fellow television presenter Nicki Chapman also paid tribute to Jonnie.
In the comments section under Jessica’s post, the Wanted Down Under host wrote: ‘Heartbroken. Sending love to Jess & the family.’
Former Escape to the Country host Sonali Shah wrote: ‘I feel so lucky to have known Jonnie. Sending you love xxx.’
Astrologer and media personality Russell Grant wrote on Twitter: ‘I am so deeply deeply upset that Jonnie Irwin has left us. One of the brightest most brilliant TV talents he made the programmes he presented with his light, bright, witty warmth a joy to watch. May his wife, sons and family be comforted on this sad day.’
Many of Jonnie’s fans also took to the comments section of Jessica’s post and other social media platforms
Rob Unsworth, Head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning said: ‘Jonnie Irwin was an extraordinary man and wonderful presenter. He brought such warmth and fun to Escape to the Country, where he was a firm favourite with not just viewers, but the production team too.
‘More recently, he did some truly inspirational reports for Morning Live about his illness, tackling taboos around end of life care, and wonderfully demonstrating the limitless positivity that he brought to everything he did.
‘His kindness will be hugely missed by everyone he worked with, and we are sending all of our thoughts to his family and friends at this sad time.’
John Comerford, Head of Naked West and Executive Producer, Escape to the Country said: ‘We are incredibly saddened to hear the news about Jonnie.
‘He has been at the very heart of Escape to the Country for 14 years and will be a huge loss to our production team and all the viewers who have loved watching him on the show.
‘Jonnie was clever, warm and funny, never short of a mischievous and insightful line and always put the programme’s contributors at ease. All the teams he worked with loved him.
‘He is an unimaginable loss to the Escape family. We send our love and heartfelt condolences to Jess and his beautiful boys.’
Social media was flooded with tributes for Jonnie after news of his death broke
Many of Jonnie’s fans also took to the comments section of his wife Jessica’s post, with one writing: ‘This was the news I never wanted to read, RIP you beautiful soul. You fought so hard to live, and because of that I truly believe you brought yourself that extra year with your beautiful family. You will never be forgotten.’
While someone else shared: ‘Absolutely devastated to hear this, by god did he put a fight and still with smile on his face and a determined look in his eye. May he rest in peace free from pain. Truly sorry for your loss thinking of all the family at this heart breaking time.’
Another person wrote: ‘Oh Jonnie. We’ve followed your brave journey and always thought you were winning, even though we knew…. rest easy beautiful soul. Love and hugs to your brave family.’
‘So sorry for your loss. And selfishly our loss too. A mainstay on our screens for years.. loved him and his energy and never stopped fighting,’ wrote someone else.
While another person shared: ‘This really is so so sad. He was doing so well, I thought we would have the pleasure of him for much longer. Sincere condolences to his family.’
‘I’m heartbroken reading this. What a wonderful man, a warrior in the way he kept himself busy with the work on the house and the wonderful hours of fun he gave his three beautiful boys. I am truly sorry for his wife, children and family and friends. God bless you Jonnie Rest in peace. You were amazingly brave,’ wrote someone else.
The TV host revealed in November that his cancer had spread to his brain after first being diagnosed with the disease in 2020 (pictured in 2023)
The late TV host and his wife share sons Rex, four, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac (pictured in 2023)
And another follower posted: ‘So sad to hear this. Rest in Power Jonnie , a truly remarkable man with a smile on his face during the most trying times. Sending strength , healing and love to all the family.’
Another fan shared: ‘Oh gosh I’m so sorry to read this, I was hoping beyond hope for a miracle. As someone else has put, so sorry for your loss – and selfishly ours too. The world is a dimmer place without Jonnie’s bright light shining Xx.
On Twitter, someone wrote: ‘So very sad to hear of the passing of TV presenter Jonnie Irwin. During lockdown, A Place in the Sun brought enormous joy to our household and he was a wonderful, funny, smart host. He was only 50 years old, which is no age.’
‘Jonnie Irwin was such a nice fella, and genuinely likeable and talented. Horrid news about his passing, as inevitable as it was. The saddest thing is he’s got such a young family, my heart really goes out to them. Heartbreaking,’ posted someone else.
A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie will be best remembered for helping couples buy their dream homes inside and outside the UK following his death aged 50.
The property expert started off presenting what was then called A Place In The Sun: Home Or Away? with Jasmine Harman in 2004.
The Channel 4 show helps couples who want to move from the UK to find a home abroad with sun, sea and sand.
In his last social media post last month, Jonnie revealed he hasn’t slept for six nights in a row as he gave an update on his health from hospital
The presenter was at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital for a full MRI scan and he looked exhausted as he shared a picture on Instagram from hospital revealed his anxiety of having the full body scan due to it being claustrophobic
He also featured on other property shows, such as I Escaped To The Country and Escape To The Country on the BBC, and Dream Lives For Sale on Sky.
The Country property series is set in the UK and sees families try to find their dream home in rural locations with the help of experts.
Jonnie also starred in Channel 4’s Renovation Game, which ran for three seasons from 2011, and saw builders and designers put their fees on the line if they do not raise the property value of a house during a revamp.
Outside presenting, Jonnie regularly contributed to a blog for the legal firm, Judicare Group, which specialises in overseas property, and has been a director at the company since March 2017.
He also wrote in A Place In The Sun magazine and A Place In The Sun Live, where he gave presentations on buying property abroad.
In November 2022, the presenter revealed his lung cancer was terminal and had spread to his brain.
Irwin said 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 told Hello! magazine.
‘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.’
Jonnie found fame as the host of Channel 4’s property show A Place In The Sun (pictured) wand presented over 200 episodes between 2004-2021
Jonnie defied his initial six months’ odds and opened up about his story in the last months of his life to encourage others to make the most of every day.
He also offered tips on life insurance policies and how he is helping protect his young family for the future, encouraging others to consider taking out a critical illness policy to help cover periods you are unable to work if you become ill.
In March, he revealed he had celebrated his 50th birthday earlier than his actual November date with a big bash surrounded by 170 friends and family.
‘It was a great night. I chose a playlist with some great tunes from the 90s and 2000s and people came from all over the country and abroad,’ he told The Sun.
‘I didn’t know the extent of the loyalty and generosity that my friends would exhibit.
‘I’ve been dumbfounded and spellbound by their support, as well as that of our families, who have been amazing.’
He reportedly underwent traditional cancer-blocking drugs as well as trialling alternative therapies including infusions of vitamin C, a cocktail of daily vitamins, a strict diet and treatment in an oxygen chamber.
A year after revealing his diagnosis, he celebrated his birthday on holiday in Spain with his children and told his followers in November 2023 that he was admitted to hospital.
He wrote on Instagram: ‘Back in hospital – been in since Friday with jaundice. I had a fever and acute stabbing pain in my right hand side.
‘Turns out I probably had an infection and other issues which I won’t bore you with. Been on drips, regular bloods taken and have observations every 4 hours through day and night.’
He celebrated his 50th birthday in November and said he felt ‘really privileged’ to mark the milestone after doctors had given him six months to live two years earlier
He subsequently said ‘my liver function is heading in the right direction’ after having blood tests.
On the Conversations with Jane McLelland podcast in January 2024, Glucoslim he said his ‘rich kaleidoscope of help’ also included hyperbaric oxygen treatment and Japanese alternative therapy Reiki.
‘This positive attitude buys you days, buys you weeks and buys you moments with people like my kids,’ he added.
In his last social media post last month, Jonnie revealed he hasn’t slept for six nights in a row as he gave an update on his health from hospital.
The presenter was at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital for a full MRI scan and he looked exhausted as he shared a picture on Instagram from hospital revealed his anxiety of having the full body scan due to it being claustrophobic.
Jonnie said: ‘This is look of a man who’s not slept for 6 nights and awaiting a full body MRI scan of at least an hour.
‘If you haven’t had one they’re claustrophobic and claustrophobic and omit loud random noises. Joy.
‘Take note on attempt of a jaunty not on my gown! I’m expecting to come out to news of India all out 195!’
The presenter went public with his cancer battle in 2022 after keeping it a secret for two years.
The television presenter had been filming A Place In The Sun in Italy when he began to see ‘weird gold spots’ when he was driving.
A crew member with him in the car was concerned at the time and took him straight to hospital where he was told he had nodules around his brain.
Jonnie revealed he had a birthday party earlier in the year as he ‘didn’t think he’d make it’ to the big day
Jonnie got a flight straight back to the UK and went to hospital.
He said: ‘Within a few hours I got told I had cancer. And I was like “right”.
‘Then a few hours later, my good friend Rahul was sat with me when they said it is terminal cancer and I had six months to live.
‘Do you ever hear the phrase it knocked the wind out of you? Nothing had ever done that to me and that it did it.
‘I was just battered.’
The father-of-three walked home in a dazed state as he struggled to comprehend the diagnosis and the daunting prospect of telling Jessica.
‘I didn’t think I was shakable like that,’ Jonnie said through tears.
‘I was really shaken up. I had to go home and I had to tell my wife and that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
‘How do you tell a woman who only two month before has had twins? How do you tell them that you’re not going to be there anymore?
‘I can remember it like it was yesterday. I’ve got no memory since I’ve had brain therapy but that b****y memory stays in my head and it is brutal.
‘All I can remember is hugging her and just saying sorry and I still feel sorry now.’
Jonnie was given just six months to live when he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, which has spread to his brain, in August 2020 (pictured with co-host Jasmine Harman)
Jonnie had weeks of tests and bad news, but was given a two to three year lifeline when doctors found his cancer had a mutation.
Jonnie revealed the reason why he kept his battle with cancer a secret for two years was to ‘pay the bills’.
He said: ‘The only reason I kept it secret is because I’ve got to earn, I’ve got to feed my babies, pay the bills.
‘And as soon as you say you’ve got cancer, people just write you off.
‘I had to live with it as a secret. It was really difficult living with such a massive cloud above me and pretending to everyone else.
‘For the first year and a half I could work. Unfortunately, one of the companies claimed they couldn’t insure and didn’t renew my contract. It left a massive hole in my income.
‘I felt like I’d been thrown on the scrapheap. They’d recruited within a week and then I could see some else doing my job.’
Jonnie said it was when he was hiding from photoshots and taking selfies with fans that he decided to speak out about his terminal diagnosis.
He said: ‘The day came when I decided I’m going to tell the world and I just thought as well I might get some money for the family.
‘It’s been a massive weight off my shoulders. The day I came out and told the world I have terminal cancer is the day I started living again. I started being Jonnie Irwin again.
‘I actually feel alive.’
He leaves behind his wife Jessica and children Rex, Rafa and Cormac.