Scarlette Douglas will be ‘devastated’ to hear of former A Place in the Sun co-star Jonnie Irwin’s terminal cancer diagnosis, but will not be told about his illness while she’s competing in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

MailOnline can reveal the TV host, 35, was aware the father-of-three was unwell but did not know the severity of his condition and discovering he only has months to live will come as a real shock to her, according to friends.

Strict rules in camp prevent contestants being updated about the outside world, unless it involves direct family members.

Her friend told MailOnline: ‘Scarlette will be absolutely devastated. She knew Jonnie had not been well but had no indication he’s only got months to live.’

Friend: Scarlette presented the Channel 4 lifestyle series for seven years, six of them while Jonnie was also a face of the show, before she quit earlier this year

Distress: Scarlette Douglas will be ‘devastated’ to hear of former A Place in the Sun co-star Jonnie Irwin’s terminal cancer diagnosis, but will not be told about his illness while she’s competing in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

They continued: ‘They’re good mates and have known each other for years, it’s just so sad. As soon as she’s out and is told, Scarlette will be straight on the phone to him.’

Scarlette has presented the Channel 4 lifestyle series for seven years, six of them while Jonnie was also a face of the show, before she quit earlier this year.

Brave Jonnie revealed his heart-breaking diagnosis on Monday during an interview with Hello! magazine.

The 48-year-old presenter told how he has been secretly battling terminal cancer and was given six months to live by doctors two years ago. The cancer started in his lungs and has now spread to his brain.

He hopes sharing news of his illness would inspire others to ‘make the most of every day.’

Heartbreaking: MailOnline can reveal the TV host, 35, was aware the father-of-three was unwell but did not know the severity of his condition and discovering he only has months to live will come as a real shock to her, according to friends

Heartbreaking: MailOnline can reveal the TV host, 35, was aware the father-of-three was unwell but did not know the severity of his condition and discovering he only has months to live will come as a real shock to her, according to friends

Jonnie said: ‘I’m carrying a dirty secret – it’s become a monkey on my back. 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.’

‘But now I want to make plans. I want to make memories and capture these moments with my family because the reality is, my boys are going to grow up not knowing their dad and that breaks my heart.’

He was diagnosed while filming A Place in the Sun in Italy in 2020.

Distressing: Jonnie was diagnosed while filming A Place in the Sun in Italy in 2020 two months after the birth of his twin sons Rafa and Cormac

Distressing: Jonnie was diagnosed while filming A Place in the Sun in Italy in 2020 two months after the birth of his twin sons Rafa and Cormac

He had been driving when his vision became blurred and doctors at home discovered he was terminally ill. Cancer drugs and chemotherapy have helped prolong his life.

Jonnie, who is being supported by his wife Jessica, 40, initially wanted to keep his illness private but after seeing ‘Bowel Babe’ Dame Deborah James, who documented her battle with cancer before passing away in June, inspire so many, he decided to go public.

He added: ‘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. One day, this is going to catch up with me, but I’m doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible.

‘I owe that to Jess and our boys. Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family.’

Jonnie Irwin’s heartbroken A Place in the Sun co-stars pay tribute after he bravely revealed he has terminal cancer and shared devastating moment he told his wife she faces caring for their three young sons on her own 

Jonnie Irwin’s first co-host of Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun today paid tribute to her ‘great friend and original partner in crime’ – as he revealed the devastating moment he told his wife that he was dying of lung and brain cancer.

Jasmine Harman, 46, is the latest broadcaster to speak out after Mr Irwin revealed his terminal diagnosis and admitted: ‘I don’t know how long I have left’. The 48-year-old married father of three says he hopes that by sharing the devastating news it will inspire others to ‘make the most of every day’.

Today Jasmine shared a smiling photo of them together on the show, where they started working together in 2004 when the former estate agent was selected from hundreds of applicants to her co-presenter.

She said: ‘Sending lots of love and support to my great friend and original partner in crime Jonnie Irwin. I know it has taken bravery to share your story. As ever a true inspiration & always positive and up for a laugh no matter what the circumstances. Love to you and your beautiful family’.

Today MailOnline unearthed footage of Jonnie smiling to camera while sipping Puglian olive oil in the summer sun on his last trip for A Place in the Sun before he discovered he had terminal cancer in his lungs and brain.

The TV host, 48, had felt dizzy and his vision became blurred while driving on the trip to Italy in August 2020, just two months after the birth of his twin sons.

The Leicestershire-born presenter, who had once hoped to play professional rugby, said: ‘Within a week of flying back from filming, I was being given six months to live. I had to go home and tell my wife, who was looking after our babies, that she was on her own pretty much. That was devastating. All I could do was apologise to her. I felt so responsible.’ 

Jasmine Harman, 46, is the latest broadcaster to speak out after Jonnie Irwin revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis

Jasmine Harman, 46, is the latest broadcaster to speak out after Jonnie Irwin revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis 

Jonnie Irwin on the trip to Italy for A Place in the Sun where he would suffer a dizzy spell and blurred vision that would lead to a terminal cancer diagnosis

Jonnie Irwin on the trip to Italy for A Place in the Sun where he would suffer a dizzy spell and blurred vision that would lead to a terminal cancer diagnosis

The estate agent turned TV star sips olive oil on a dream trip to Puglia for the Channel 4 show

The estate agent turned TV star sips olive oil on a dream trip to Puglia for the Channel 4 show

Weeks before the boys arrived, the family had moved to Newcastle from Hertfordshire to start a new life closer to family

Weeks before the boys arrived, the family had moved to Newcastle from Hertfordshire to start a new life closer to family

Six months ago Jonnie shared a trailer for a new episode of Escape to the Country. Fans and viewers expressed their concern for his health - but the presenter was secretly ill and undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments

Six months ago Jonnie shared a trailer for a new episode of Escape to the Country. Fans and viewers expressed their concern for his health - but the presenter was secretly ill and undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments

Six months ago Jonnie shared a trailer for a new episode of Escape to the Country. Fans and viewers expressed their concern for his health – but the presenter was secretly ill and undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments

A Place in the Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin, pictured with his wife Jessica, 40, and their three children, son Rex, three, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac, has revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis, admitting he doesn¿t know ¿how long I have left¿

A Place in the Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin, pictured with his wife Jessica, 40, and their three children, son Rex, three, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac, has revealed his terminal cancer diagnosis, admitting he doesn’t know ‘how long I have left’ 

Within weeks of the medical episode he was given six months to live. More than two years on, Jonnie has revealed the terminal diagnosis that has devastated him, his wife Jessica, 40, and their family. The married father of three hopes his honesty would inspire others to ‘make the most of every day’, adding: ‘I don’t know how long I have left’.

From Lutterworth to Lanzarote: How former estate agent Jonnie Irwin’s TV career took off after he beat hundreds to present A Place in the Sun

TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has revealed he is suffering with terminal cancer, saying he hopes sharing his terminal cancer diagnosis will inspire others to 'make the most of every day'

TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has revealed he is suffering with terminal cancer, saying he hopes sharing his terminal cancer diagnosis will inspire others to ‘make the most of every day’

Born in 1973, Jonnie Irwin grew up in Bitteswell, Leicestershire, and attended Lutterworth Grammar School and Community College before becoming an estate agent.

In 2004, Irwin was selected from hundreds of applicants alongside co-presenter Jasmine Harman to present Channel 4’s show A Place In The Sun – Home Or Away. The property programme was a surprise hit and syndicated widely. Irwin also regularly presents the BBC’s Escape To The Country and To Buy Or Not To Buy.

In January 2011, Sky 1 broadcast Irwin’s own show called Dream Lives for Sale, in which he helped people leave their lives in the UK in order buy their dream business. 

Later that year, he started a new series The Renovation Game which aired on weekday mornings on Channel 4. 

Outside of presenting, he is also a commercial director for Judicare, which describes itself as a ‘specialist law firm providing clients with legal advice on all matters related to overseas property’.

Irwin married Jessica Holmes in September 2016. Together they have three sons and lived in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire before moving to Newcastle.

On November 13, Irwin was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He told Hello magazine: ‘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.

MailOnline can reveal that fans of his shows began noting that he was looking unwell around six months ago during a trailer for a new episode of Escape to the Country. On Instagram several people asked him if he was ‘okay’ because he looked thin and was always wearing a hat. Now it has emerged his body was being ravaged by cancer and chemotherapy, which left him thin and without his trademark shock of blonde hair.

Jonnie, Jessica and their three children son Rex, three, and two-year-old boys Rafa and Cormac in Newcastle, having moved there from Hertfordshire in June 2020 to be closer to family. Weeks later their twins were born in the city’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, and poignantly, given what was to come, he said: ‘We know having 3 boys under 18 months is gonna be hard but it’s better to have a surfeit of good news rather than a deficit’.

Two months later his world caved in while filming Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun in Italy in 2020. In a series of Instagram reels filmed before his illness was revealed, he spoke of his joy at being in Puglia where he stayed on an olive oil farm with orchards dating back to Roman times, calling it an ‘absolutely incredible’ place.

A Channel 4 spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We were and remain, extremely saddened by the news of Jonnie’s illness. Our thoughts remain with him and his family at this incredibly difficult time. We applaud his decision to talk openly about his cancer.’ 

Speaking to Hello magazine last night, Jonnie said that he had been driving on that trip when his vision became blurred. He went to see a doctor on his return home and discovered he was terminally ill. Cancer drugs and chemotherapy have helped prolong his life for 18 months beyond what specialists had told him.

The 48-year-old former estate agent’s TV career began in 2004 when he was selected from hundreds of applicants to co-present Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun with Jasmine Harman. In 2010 he won more fans by becoming a regular host of Escape to the Country on BBC1.

Last night he revealed he has been fighting lung cancer that had tragically spread to his brain. He told Hello magazine: ‘I’m carrying a dirty secret – it’s become a monkey on my back. 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’.

‘But now I want to make plans. I want to make memories and capture these moments with my family because the reality is, my boys are going to grow up not knowing their dad and that breaks my heart.’

Jonnie said he had chosen to keep his illness private until now. His case is reminiscent of Dame Deborah James’ battle with bowel cancer, which she chose to make public to raise awareness and funds for research.

He said: ‘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. One day, this is going to catch up with me, but I’m doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible.

‘I owe that to Jess and our boys. Some people in my position have bucket lists, but I just want us to do as much as we can as a family.’

He has also urged people to get life insurance, which he finally decided to do when his twins were born. 

He told Hello: ‘That has helped so much and when I leave this planet, I’ll do so knowing Jess and the boys are in a house that is fully paid off and there’s a bit of money in the bank for them to live off.’

Jonnie appeared on A Place In the Sun from 2004 until last year and was its longest serving presenter, alongside co-star Jasmine Harman, who is still with the show. 

The Channel 4 series has lasted for 462 episodes since first airing on British screens in September 2000 and still rakes in some 472,000 viewers a week, according to recent figures. 

After Irwin shared his diagnosis on Instagram, Harman wrote: ‘Words can’t fix much, but what lovely words of support you have had here Jonnie. 

‘I know you know this already, but I am here for you my dear friend, and Jess and the boys. So, so brave. Sending lots of love. Speak soon.’ 

The 48-year-old (pictured with Jasmine Harman in 2004), presents Channel 4 's A Place In The Sun and the BBC 's Escape To The Country

The 48-year-old (pictured with Jasmine Harman in 2004), presents Channel 4 ‘s A Place In The Sun and the BBC ‘s Escape To The Country

The 48-year-old, who presents Channel 4's A Place In The Sun and the BBC's Escape To The Country, revealed his lung cancer had spread to his brain. He has been trying to work while secretly having chemotherapy

The 48-year-old, who presents Channel 4’s A Place In The Sun and the BBC’s Escape To The Country, revealed his lung cancer had spread to his brain. He has been trying to work while secretly having chemotherapy

Private battle: Jonnie, who shares three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica, said he had chosen to keep his illness private until now

Private battle: Jonnie, who shares three-year-old son Rex and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac with his wife Jessica, said he had chosen to keep his illness private until now

'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,' Irwin (pictured with wife Jessica) bravely explained

‘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,’ Irwin (pictured with wife Jessica) bravely explained

A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin shared his sad news on Instagram, revealing the full story is in Hello magazine

A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin shared his sad news on Instagram, revealing the full story is in Hello magazine

A Place In The Sun co-presenter Jasmine Harman wrote: 'Words can¿t fix much, but what lovely words of support you have had here Jonnie. I know you know this already, but I am here for you my dear friend, and Jess and the boys. So, so brave. Sending lots of love. Speak soon'

A Place In The Sun co-presenter Jasmine Harman wrote: ‘Words can’t fix much, but what lovely words of support you have had here Jonnie. I know you know this already, but I am here for you my dear friend, and Jess and the boys. So, so brave. Sending lots of love. Speak soon’

Former Homes Under The Hammer host Lucy Alexander wrote: 'Jonnie. I get so much joy watching you & your boys on here. You¿re one hellava flippin amazeballs presenter and I¿m sending so soooo much love & strength.'

Former Homes Under The Hammer host Lucy Alexander wrote: ‘Jonnie. I get so much joy watching you & your boys on here. You’re one hellava flippin amazeballs presenter and I’m sending so soooo much love & strength.’

Escape To The Country's Nicki Chapman wrote: 'Love you guys so much'

Escape To The Country’s Nicki Chapman wrote: ‘Love you guys so much’

He first appeared on Escape to the Country in 2010.

Jonnie’s social media was inundated with well wishes and messages of support in the wake of the news. 

Ex-Homes Under The Hammer presenter Lucy Alexander wrote: ‘Jonnie. I get so much joy watching you & your boys on here. 

‘You’re one hellava flippin amazeballs presenter and I’m sending so soooo much love & strength.’

Escape To The Country’s Nicki Chapman wrote: ‘Love you guys so much,’ while another user posted: ‘Jonnie I am so so sorry to hear your news… 

‘Life is so cruel, to the nicest of people. I send you all our love to you and your family.’

Others chipped in: ‘Sending you and your beautiful family so much love and strength. 

‘Thank you for sharing your news, I’m sure that many people who are in a similar situation will draw strength and inspiration from you.’

Jonnie has continued to work as much as possible, while undergoing bouts of chemotherapy and other treatments. 

He was initially set on keeping his diagnosis between a very select group of people, but now has decided to share his experiences and explain the ordeal for others to learn from. 

Irwin, pictured here in 2010 at the TV Choice Awards, said he got the first warning signs about his disease in 2020

Irwin, pictured here in 2010 at the TV Choice Awards, said he got the first warning signs about his disease in 2020

'One day, this is going to catch up with me, but I'm doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible,' Irwin said

‘One day, this is going to catch up with me, but I’m doing everything I can to hold that day off for as long as possible,’ Irwin said

Jonnie Irwin (pictured with his eldest son Rex) told Hello Magazine this month: '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'

Jonnie Irwin (pictured with his eldest son Rex) told Hello Magazine this month: ‘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’

Viewers said they were 'devastated' and 'heartbroken to learn of Irwin's diagnosis, describing him as a 'very natural, likeable fella' and a 'lovely man with a beautiful family'

Viewers said they were ‘devastated’ and ‘heartbroken to learn of Irwin’s diagnosis, describing him as a ‘very natural, likeable fella’ and a ‘lovely man with a beautiful family’

Debbie Johnston credited Irwin with helping her find a place to live out her retirement, praising him as the 'top of your game and so very engaging'

Debbie Johnston credited Irwin with helping her find a place to live out her retirement, praising him as the ‘top of your game and so very engaging’

'This is heartbreaking. I've watched Jonnie on A Place In the Sun as long as I can remember,' tweeted Laura

‘This is heartbreaking. I’ve watched Jonnie on A Place In the Sun as long as I can remember,’ tweeted Laura

Jonnie’s heartbreaking story is reminiscent of presenter Dame Deborah James’ battle with bowel cancer, which the mother-of-two sadly lost on June 28 this year.

Jonnie Irwin was speaking to Hello Magazine

Jonnie Irwin was speaking to Hello Magazine

The journalist, 40, was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2016, going on to host You, Me and the Big C podcast on BBC Radio 5 Live about her struggles with her illness.

Back in May, Dame Deborah was given just days to live. But she fought her way through another two full months, defying the odds to spend her final weeks with her children and husband out of hospital.

She had an incredibly peaceful death, her husband Sebastien said.

‘People who didn’t know Debs saw her getting weaker and weaker in those final weeks,’ he said. ‘But mentally it was the opposite.

‘Through battling the fires of adversity she got stronger and in my eyes, it made her more and more radiant with every passing day. I’ve never loved her more.

‘She knew what was happening to her, yet she was able to still find those magical moments.’

He said he was in awe of what his wife had achieved while dealing with such emotional anguish.

In the months leading up to her death, Deborah had Prince William over for tea, who made her a Dame.

Living life on her own terms despite her illness, she designed Charity T-shirts a clothing line to raise millions more for her ‘Bowelbabe’ fund.

Dame Deborah James' husband Sebastien told his terminally ill wife he would 'look after the kids' as she was on her deathbed and said she had an 'incredibly peaceful death'.

Dame Deborah James’ husband Sebastien told his terminally ill wife he would ‘look after the kids’ as she was on her deathbed and said she had an ‘incredibly peaceful death’.

Deborah is pictured with her 12-year-old daughter Eloise, left. Her father Sebastien says he feels a responsibility to carry on his wife's positive outlook for their children

Deborah is pictured with her 12-year-old daughter Eloise, left. Her father Sebastien says he feels a responsibility to carry on his wife’s positive outlook for their children

The Dame also wrote and published her second book How to Live When You Should Be Dead, while suffering from cancer, detailing how developing a positive mindset was key to enabling her to cope with her diagnosis.

Thinking of what he loved most about her, he said her way of finding joy in every moment, even in the darkest of times, was what he will miss the most.

Deborah’s candid posts about her progress and diagnosis, including videos of her dancing her way through treatment, won praise from the public and media alike. 



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