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BBC pays tribute to Escape to the Country star Jonnie Irwin after death

jonnie irwin, a place in the sun
BBC pays tribute to Jonnie Irwin after deathChannel 4

A Place in the Sun and Escape to the Country presenter Jonnie Irwin has died aged 50 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Irwin was diagnosed with lung cancer back in 2020, and later revealed in November 2022 that he had been given a terminal diagnosis after the disease spread to his brain.

Following the news today (February 2), the BBC released a statement on Irwin's death, calling the presenter an "extraordinary" man.

"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," Rob Unsworth, head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning, said.

jonnie irwin, a place in the sun
Channel 4

Related: A Place in the Sun's Jonnie Irwin shares terminal cancer diagnosis

John Comerford, head of production company Naked West and executive producer of Escape to the Country, added: "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."

Irwin joined A Place in the Sun's presenting team in 2004 alongside Jasmine Harman. He joined the BBC's Escape to the Country in 2010.

He is survived by his wife Jessica Holmes and their three children, sons Rex, Rafa and Cormac. Irwin's death was confirmed in a statement on his Instagram account, which shared a heartfelt tribute to him.

Related: A Place In The Sun star Jonnie Irwin claims he was “pushed aside” by show after cancer diagnosis

The statement read: "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."


If you would like more information or support about living with cancer or treatment, please click here for guidance from Macmillan Cancer Support, or click here to learn more from Stand Up to Cancer.

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