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Fans react as A Place in the Sun pays special tribute to Jonnie Irwin

Jonnie Irwin had presented the show since 2004

Jonnie Irwin and his son Rex
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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A Place in the Sun has said goodbye to former presenter Jonnie Irwin with a loving tribute following the very sad news that the TV personality had passed away aged 50. 

Jonnie, who was also a presenter on Escape to the Country, had been diagnosed with lung cancer back in 2020, and stepped down from presenting the show, which he had worked on since 2004, following his diagnosis. 

WATCH: Jonnie invited Hello! to one of his final shoots to share some family moments with us

The latest episode was set in Manilva, Spain, and featured Danni Menzies helping guests find their perfect home. As the episode concluded, a tribute read: “In memory of Jonnie Irwin. 1973 - 2024.” 

Jonnie Irwin's tribute on A Place in the Sun
Jonnie Irwin's tribute on A Place in the Sun

Taking to X/Twitter to discuss the episode, one person wrote: “Choking back tears at seeing Jonnie Irwin on his final show and the tribute at the end! Rest well now Jonnie you fought the hard fight.” However, others were disappointed that the show didn’t focus more on Jonnie, with one writing: “Really should have had an episode with Jonnie on today as a tribute.” Another person added: “Am pleased they dedicated the show to Jonnie Irwin but being honest I’d have expected a programme based around him.” 

Jonnie Irwin in hospital© @jonnieirwintv/Instagram
Jonnie Irwin passed away in early 2024

Praising a special airing of Escape to the Country, another person wrote: “Glad the @BBCOne are airing #JonnieIrwin's #EscapeToTheCountry show. He was one of the best hosts on this show & #APlaceInTheSun. He came across absolutely fantastic, polite & smart. That montage was very tearful & you can tell that the viewers absolutely love Jonnie!” 

Jonnie previously opened up about his sadness at being unable to present A Place in the Sun following his diagnosis, telling The Sun: “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?’ They said, ‘We don’t think we can get the insurance,’ not ‘We can’t get the insurance,’ but, ‘We don’t think…’ That broke my heart and affected my mental health.”

Jonnie Irwin on Good Morning Britain in 2022© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Jonnie Irwin on Good Morning Britain in 2022

“Just two weeks later, someone else was on TV doing my job. I just feel I’d earned a bit more from them after 18 years.”

A representative for Channel 4 told the publication: “No stone was left unturned in trying to enable Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid but the production company was unable to secure adequate insurance cover for him. We, of course, understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time.” 

Jonnie Irwin posing for a selfie with his wife Jessica © Instagram
Jonnie Irwin smiling alongside his wife Jessica

Jonnie’s death was announced on Instagram on Friday, with the post reading: "In Loving Memory. 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. 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.” 

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