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Cancer-stricken TV presenter Jonnie Irwin claims he was cruelly axed from his role on Channel 4 show A Place In The Sun after bosses learned of his terminal cancer diagnosis.
The 49-year old says he was left with a "broken heart" after he was paid off in the middle of the series and told his contract wasn't going to be renewed.
Jonnie, who shares Rex, three, and two-year old twins Cormac and Rafa with his wife Jess, said he can no longer watch the programme he has been forced to leave behind.
READ MORE: A Place In The Sun star Jonnie Irwin hasn’t told his children he’s terminally ill
He told the Sun: "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 was given just six months to live in August 2020 after learning he had developed lung cancer, which had spread to his brain.
Through chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, however, he continued to work on Escape To The Country and other projects to provide for his family.
He continued: "Even though I look thinner and I’m without hair, Escape to the Country and A Place In The Sun Ltd, which runs the show’s exhibitions, have employed me and I’ve been so impressed by them, but I didn’t get that support from A Place In The Sun.
"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?'"
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Jonnie said his mental health was affected though after show bosses told him they "didn't think" they could get insurance for him to continue working.
The situation was made all the more worse when just two weeks later the show had drafted in a replacement, with the star frustratingly adding that he had simply been "pushed aside for someone healthier".
Jonnie's A Place In The Sun career began in 2004 when he was selected from hundreds of applicants along with co-presenter Jasmine Harman.
He got the first inkling that something wasn't right when his vision went blurry when driving and soon discovered he had the disease just a week after filming for the APITS wrapped in Italy.
A spokesperson for Freeform Productions, who produce A Place In The Sun, 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."
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- Channel 4
- A Place In The Sun
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