Jonnie Irwin has accused Channel 4 bosses of deciding to axe him from A Place In The Sun after he informed them of his terminal cancer diagnosis. The presenter confirmed the news publicly earlier in November.
The 49-year-old, who has been told he only has six months left to live, has alleged he was paid off after telling them mid-season. He believes it motivated Channel 4’s decision to not renew his contract on the lifestyle television series.
Jonnie revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, which had later spread to his brain, in August 2020, two months after the birth of his twin sons. His diagnosis came while filming in Italy for A Place In The Sun when he experienced blurred vision whilst driving.
He has accused Freeform Productions, who are the company behind the popular Channel 4 series, of stopping from giving him work. He told a national newspaper: “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.”
Jonnie also alleges that bosses replaced him with “someone healthier” in just two weeks and feels he “deserved more” after 18-years of hosting the programme. He followed up by saying: “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.”
In a joint statement, Channel 4 and Freeform Productions have responded to the allegations made by Jonnie Irwin by stating: “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. We, of course, understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time.”