A Place in the Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin celebrates birthday early after terminal cancer diagnosis

Jonnie Irwin - Jonnie Irwin/Instagram
Jonnie Irwin - Jonnie Irwin/Instagram

TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has celebrated his 50th birthday early after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Irwin, who presents the BBC’s Escape to the Country and a Place in the Sun, revealed in November that he had lung cancer which has now spread to his brain.

In an interview with the Sun, Mr Irwin said he was now too sick to play football with his young son as the effort “broke him”.

The 49-year-old has a 3 year-old son, Rex, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica.

Jonnie Irwin in 2014
Jonnie Irwin in 2014

Irwin, who used to be a keen rugby player, said “I tried to play football with Rex the other day and was in goal and I couldn’t get near the ball.

“It was so frustrating. I’m very sporty and suddenly it’s just like…it was as if it was the first time I’d attempted football. I felt like a granddad. And that broke me a bit.”

Irwin also decided to celebrate his 50th birthday, which is in November, early.

He said that he hosted a big party for the celebration which was attended by almost 200 friends and relatives.

"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 added: "I just wanted to do something to celebrate my birthday and had no idea how many people would actually turn up. It was incredible."

Jonnie Irwin - Jonnie Irwin/Instagram
Jonnie Irwin - Jonnie Irwin/Instagram

In 2004, Irwin was selected from hundreds of applicants along with co-presenter Jasmine Harman to present Channel 4's show A Place in the Sun – Home or Away.

Irwin also presents episodes of BBC property shows Escape to the Country and To Buy or Not to Buy.

In an interview with Hello! magazine shortly after his diagnosis, Irwin said: "I don't know how long I have left, but I try to stay positive and my attitude is that I'm living with cancer, not dying from it…

“Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family."