Watch: Jonnie Irwin explains 'palliative' does not have to mean end of life care
Jonnie Irwin has revealed he has been receiving palliative care for three years, as he explained it does not have to mean "doom and gloom" and the end of life.
The A Place In The Sun presenter - who announced in November 2022 he has terminal lung cancer which has spread to his brain - said he was feeling "really good" as he opened up on his visits to a hospice for care and pain relief since he was given his terminal diagnosis.
Irwin, 49, told BBC's Morning Live: "I've not been using it recently, I've been using it for three years. Palliative care is the care that you're given when the doctors think you won't recover. So I've been in palliative care since day one and it can take any guise really - palliative care through the hospital, through chemotherapy treatments, all the way through to the hospice."
He went on: "My hospice is a delight actually, I wouldn't say it's like a hotel but it's like a very nice private hospital."
Irwin confessed: "My perception of a hospice was a boiling hot room full of people that look frail and towards the end of their days. It's nothing of the sort. It's spacious, energised, comfortable. It's even got a jacuzzi bath! And the staff are just amazing. I've had really good experience of my hospice."
The Escape To The Country said that if anyone watching was offered palliative care he encouraged them to "embrace it".
He said: "My first experience of palliative care and a hospice was blood transfusions as a day patient. I was invited to use it and I thought I'd give it a go. I went into this lovely room, biscuits piled up beside me, and I just dipped in and out. I would implore people if you've got the choice of using it then use it.
"It's a service provided, not wholly by the NHS, my hospice is majority funded privately. You have a right to a choice of a hospice if you so wish, but I would encourage people to explore that because it's not that doom and gloom operation that you might have thought it was."
Irwin - who has three young sons with his wife Jess - also gave an update on his health, saying: "I'm really good. I have up days and down days, but today's very much an up day. The family are great and very noisy."
Dr Ranj Sing explained that palliative care is about "changing the focus from curing a condition to making you as comfortable as possible and giving you the best quality of life for however long you have left."
He said: "Jonnie has put it so well - when people mention the word palliative care you immediately assume the worst, you think 'It's end of life, it's hopeless'. But actually we need to reframe that, because although palliative care is used for incurable and complex conditions, it's not a withdrawal of care, it's a redirection of care."
Irwin has worked on Escape To The Country for almost 10 years. He was a member of the A Place In The Sun team from 2004 but was axed after 18 years when he revealed to producers he had cancer.
Chemotherapy and cancer drugs have helped extend the initial prognosis and the TV presenter is determined to make the most of any time he has left with his family.
Irwin was diagnosed in August 2020 after his vision went blurry while away filming Channel 4 property show A Place In The Sun. But he kept his diagnosis a secret for two years.
He has said he hopes others will learn from his mistake and take out critical illness insurance.
Irwin has previously said he felt "massively aggrieved" about A Place In The Sun, after producers at the Channel 4 show said they could not insure him to work following his terminal cancer diagnosis.