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Jasmine Harman leads tributes to A Place In The Sun co-star Jonnie Irwin

TV presenter Jasmine Harman has paid tribute to her A Place In The Sun co-star and “partner in crime” Jonnie Irwin following his death.

Irwin, who presented Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun and BBC’s Escape To The Country, said in November 2022 that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020 and that it had spread to his brain.

A spokesperson for the family said Irwin “fought bravely against cancer with unwavering strength and courage” before his death aged 50.

In an Instagram post on Friday, Harman, 48, said she had “never known anyone as strong” as Irwin.

Reflecting on their time as co-hosts, she said: “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 about the adventure we were about to embark on, and the friends we would become.”

Speaking on Irwin’s other role, as a father, she said: “Never were you happier than in your role as husband and dad to the most awesome three boys – you are a legend.”

“We can, in your memory learn to cherish every hug, every conversation, every moment, for the priceless time we have,” she added.

“Enjoy every breath, every sunrise and sunset, never take anything for granted, because tomorrow is not promised.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt celebrity screening – London
Jasmine Harman was Irwin’s co-presenter (Yui Mok/PA)

“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.”

A spokesman for the family announced the news and said: “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.”

Fellow Escape To The Country star Nicki Chapman said she was “heartbroken” following the news.

TV show A Place In The Sun also paid tribute and spoke of the “joy” Irwin had brought to the show.

A statement posted to Instagram said: “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.”

Channel 4 said Irwin would be “greatly missed” and Rob Unsworth, head of BBC daytime and early peak commissioning, remembered Irwin as “an extraordinary man and wonderful presenter”.

The property expert started off presenting what was then called A Place In The Sun: Home Or Away? with Harman in 2004.

A Place In The Sun helps couples who want to move from the UK to find a home abroad with sun, sea and sand.

Irwin 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 did not raise the property value of a house during a revamp.

When he disclosed his lung cancer diagnosis in 2022, the TV presenter said the first warning sign was while he was filming A Place In The Sun in Italy in August 2020, when his vision became blurry while driving.

Within a week of flying home, he was given six months to live.

In 2023, Irwin decided to celebrate his 50th birthday early with a big bash for 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.

Irwin has three sons, Rex, and twins Rafa and Cormac, with his wife Jessica.