Jonnie Irwin admits he kept his cancer diagnosis secret for so long so he could provide for family
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/jonnieirwin/OneChatPodcast
A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie Irwin has revealed that the only reason he kept his cancer diagnosis a secret for so long was so he could provide for his family.
The TV personality announced last November that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had been told he had just months left to live.
While he had shared the news with his family when he was first diagnosed back in August 2020, he chose to keep his diagnosis from the public for as long as he could to keep his career afloat.
The Escape to the Country presenter explained to podcast OneChat: "The only reason I kept it a secret is because I’ve got to feed my babies, pay the bills. And as soon as you say you've got cancer, people just write you off.
"I had to keep on providing for my family. I was living with such a dark cloud above me... anyone outside of my tight-knit [circle] didn’t know."
He added: "For the first year and a half I could work. Unfortunately, one of the companies claimed they couldn't insure and didn't renew my contract. It left a massive hole in my income.
"I felt like I'd been thrown on the scrapheap. They'd recruited within a week and then I could see some else doing my job."
But Jonnie confessed that he hated having to hide the truth from the world, and didn't feel comfortable until he finally opened up last year.
"It's been a massive weight off my shoulders. The day I came out and told the world I had terminal cancer is the day I started living again, I started being Jonnie Irwin again and I actually feel alive."
While Jonnie can now speak openly about his diagnosis with the public, he and his wife Jessica try to avoid discussing it.
"Financially we're slowly getting stuff in place, transferring account details and putting stuff in her name but being positive such an important factor. I do that by not talking about it too much," he told the AIG podcast.
It's understandably quite a touchy subject for the couple, who still remember the 'brutal' day Jonnie had to tell Jessica the news.
"I was really shaken up. I had to go home and I had to tell my wife and that's the hardest thing I've ever had to do," he recalled.
"How do you tell a woman who only two month before has had twins?
"How do you tell them that you're not going to be there anymore?
"I can remember it like it was yesterday. I've got no memory since I've had brain therapy but that b****y memory stays in my head and it is brutal.
"All I can remember is hugging her and just saying sorry and I still feel sorry now."