Jonnie Irwin shares cancer diagnosis update as he celebrates 50th birthday early
TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has revealed he celebrated his 50th birthday early as he provided an update on his terminal cancer diagnosis.
The 49-year-old, who presented Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun and the BBC’s Escape To The Country, said in November he has lung cancer which has spread to his brain.
In a new interview with The Sun, he said: “I’m weak now, fragile and my memory is terrible… but I’m still here.”
Irwin, who shares three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica, admitted his health issues have made playing with his children more challenging.
He 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.
“I always thought, ‘I’m an older dad but I’ll be leading from the front’ but I’m now at the back.”
The TV presenter previously said he received the first warning sign of his illness while he was filming A Place In The Sun in Italy in August 2020, when his vision became blurry while driving.
Within a week of flying home, he was given six months to live.
However, he has defied the odds and last year opened up about his story to encourage others to make the most of every day.
His 50th birthday is actually in November but Irwin decided to celebrate it early with a big bash with 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 recalled.
“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.
“I just wanted to do something to celebrate my birthday and had no idea how many people would actually turn up. It was incredible.”
Irwin is reportedly undergoing 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.
He said: “I really believe that I wouldn’t still be here if I hadn’t tried all these things.”