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A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin helped couples find dream homes

A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin 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.

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.

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 do not raise the property value of a house during a revamp.

Outside presenting, Irwin 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.”

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt celebrity screening – London
Jasmine Harman (Yui Mok/PA)

Harman, who has presented A Place In The Sun for more than a decade, said on Instagram at the time she was “proud to call him a friend” and it was “brave” for him to share his story.

Irwin 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 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, 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.

He leaves behind his wife Jessica and children Rex, Rafa and Cormac.