A Place in the Sun star Jonnie Irwin has said he’s been overwhelmed at the support he’s received following his axing from the show after his terminal lung cancer diagnosis.
Jonnie, 49, claimed that his contract wasn’t renewed on the Channel 4 show after he informed bosses of his terminal illness.
The presenter shared the news earlier this month that he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2020, which spread to his brain, and was given just six months to live at the time.
Jonnie recalled being left “heartbroken” after he told The Sun he believed he was removed form the show as a result.
The former host has since been sent supportive messages from fans after hearing of his plight behind the scenes.
Speaking about the messages, Jonnie said: "They range from practical, scientific advice to ones from very religious people. There are thousands and thousands of them on my social media platforms and it's been great.
"I've not hidden away but I'm not bothered about the limelight. I had no idea how much people really liked what I did and I know that now."
He claimed to The Sun earlier this week: "As soon as people find out you’ve got cancer, they write you off. Yes, I have stage four and its terminal — but not yet, so let me live my life while I can.
"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."
Channel 4 bosses have denied pushing Jonnie out, as they said in a statement they left “no stone unturned” in their efforts to keep the presenter on the show.
A spokesperson for Freeform Productions 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."
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