Jonnie Irwin: A Place In The Sun presenter dies aged 50

TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has died aged 50, his family has said.

Irwin, who presented Channel 4's A Place In The Sun and the BBC's Escape To The Country, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2020.

In a statement, his family 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. Their grief is immeasurable, and your thoughts, prayers, and support are deeply appreciated."

The tribute added: "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."

His A Place In The Sun co-presenter Jasmine Harman said in an Instagram post that "the world is a little darker today without you".

"Your cheeky-chappy persona and naughty sense of humour always broke the ice and made people laugh," she said. "Everyone warmed to you and you had the incredible ability to connect with people, making them feel like they'd known you for years.

"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 we know about the adventure we were about to embark on, and the friends we would become.

"Professionally, you were well suited to life in front of the lens. But for years, you always talked about wanting to settle down and become a dad.

"Your wish was granted when you met Jess. Never were you happier than in your role as husband and Dad to the most awesome three boys - you are a legend."

The head of BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning, Rob Unsworth, described Irwin as "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," he added.

"More recently, he did some truly inspirational reports for Morning Live about his illness, tackling taboos around end of life care, and wonderfully demonstrating the limitless positivity that he brought to everything he did."

Harman continued: "Life is simply not fair. We can't reason with it; there are no answers to the question why?

"We can, in your memory learn to cherish every hug, every conversation, every moment, for the priceless time we have. Enjoy every breath, every sunrise and sunset, never take anything for granted, because tomorrow is not promised.

"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."

Irwin had been open about his illness in the hope of inspiring others to "make the most of every day".

He was initially told he had just six months to live.

The presenter realised something was wrong with his health while filming A Place In The Sun in Italy, when his vision became blurry while driving.

At first he kept his illness private but opened up about the diagnosis at the end of 2022, when he revealed the cancer had spread to his brain.

He told Hello Magazine: "It's got to the point now where it feels like I'm carrying a dirty secret, it's become a monkey on my back.

"I hope that by shaking that monkey off, I might inspire people who are living with life-limiting prospects to make the most of every day, to help them see that you can live a positive life, even though you are dying."

Irwin turned 50 in November but celebrated the milestone in March as he contended with his terminal diagnosis.

He began presenting A Place In The Sun in 2004, helping families move abroad to sunnier climes.

He accused bosses of the show of dropping him after more than 200 episodes following his terminal cancer diagnosis - a decision the production company said was down to not being able to get insurance for him.

Irwin 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.

He 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.

Irwin and his wife Jessica have three children - a son named Rex and twins, Rafa and Cormac.