Jonnie Irwin claims he was axed from A Place in the Sun after revealing he had terminal cancer
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The television presenter disclosed in an interview with The Sun that executives from the property reality show weren't able to support him through his insurance and therefore had no choice but to let him go.
Irwin was told in 2020 that he had lung cancer after noticing his vision became blurry while filming on location in Italy.
He said that despite working on the show for more than 18 years, his contract wasn't renewed when they learned of Irwin’s illness.
He said: “As soon as I told A Place In The Sun about my diagnosis they paid me for the rest of the season but didn’t renew my contract. They knew I wanted to carry on.
“That hurt. That broke my heart. I feel hugely let down. I can’t even watch the show now.”
Even though he offered to get clearance from his doctors to film the upcoming season, production didn't give him the green light.
Irwin said: “I told them I wanted to work. When I said I can get you doctor notes and assurances from my oncologist that I am fit to work, I was told, verbatim, ‘Oh, you really don’t want to go down that route, do you?'”
He added: “Within two weeks, someone else was on TV doing my job. I just feel I earned a bit more from them after 18 years. That was my first job in TV and it was special to me.
"I started with my good friend Jasmine Harman and to have that taken away from me . . . that wage, that purpose . . . as if the cancer wasn’t bad enough.”
Irwin told the outlet that the show has ‘pushed him to the side in favour of someone healthier’.
And while he still entertains the thought of presenting on the show, he reveals there is too much bad blood there.
A spokesperson for Channel 4 and production company Freeform said: "Jonnie has been a hugely important part of the A Place In The Sun family for over 18 years and all of us were deeply saddened by his diagnosis.
"Much loved by everyone on the production, no stone was left unturned in trying to enable Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid but the production company were unable to secure adequate insurance cover for him.
"Whilst we were unable to continue to film abroad with him, we’re delighted that he was able to remain as part of our team in the UK for exhibitions. We of course understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time."
Irwin first got candid about his illness earlier this month during an interview with HELLO!
The 49-year-old shared that he takes each day as it comes while trying to spend most of his time with his family.
He was told he only has about six months left to live when he was diagnosed in 2020, but medication, radiotherapy and chemotherapy has helped him stay alive.
He 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.
"I set little markers – things I want to be around for. I got into the habit of saying: 'Don't plan ahead because I might not be well enough'.”