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Jonnie Irwin’s grieving wife Jessica reveals his death ‘still doesn’t feel real’ and her ‘sadness is huge’ after her husband’s tragic passing aged 50


Jonnie Irwin‘s grieving wife Jessica Holmes has revealed his death ‘still doesn’t feel real’ as she posted an emotional update on Instagram on Tuesday.

A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie passed away on February 2 after a brave three-year fight with cancer, following his diagnosis with lung cancer in 2020. 

As she broke her silence two weeks after announcing his death Jessica told how her ‘sadness was huge’ and she was struggling to see her future without him.

Jonnie hosted property show A Place In The Sun from 2004 to 2021, when he was forced to step down due to his terminal cancer diagnosis. 

The TV host leaves behind his wife Jessica and sons Rex, four, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac. 

Jonnie Irwin's grieving wife Jessica Holmes has revealed that his death 'still doesn't feel real' as she posted an emotional update on Instagram on Tuesday

Jonnie Irwin’s grieving wife Jessica Holmes has revealed that his death ‘still doesn’t feel real’ as she posted an emotional update on Instagram on Tuesday

As she broke her silence two weeks after announcing his death Jessica told how her 'sadness was huge' and she was struggling to see her future without him

As she broke her silence two weeks after announcing his death Jessica told how her ‘sadness was huge’ and she was struggling to see her future without him

In her new post Jessica penned: ‘It still doesn’t feel real. The sadness is huge. I can’t even let myself think what another week without Jonnie will be like let alone another year another 10 years. 

‘I have been truly touched by all the support from friends and strangers. But nothing compares to how I have been picked up by my family and Jonnies sisters, your support and love means everything to me. 

‘I am loving watching the boys enjoy some days in the sun and having a change of scene is just what we needed..’ 

Alongside her thoughtful words she posted an image of a sunny coastal scene as she made the most of some time away.

Jessica announced the news of his death in a heartbreaking tribute two weeks ago.

Jonnie was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020, and went public two years later revealing the cancer had spread and it was terminal.  

Jessica, 40, remained a steadfast pillar of support during her husband’s challenging health battle.

The couple, who wed in 2016 in what Jonnie fondly described as the ‘happiest weekend of my life,’ have three sons.

The TV host leaves behind his wife Jessica and sons Rex, four, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac

The TV host leaves behind his wife Jessica and sons Rex, four, and two-year-old twins Rafa and Cormac

A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie passed away on February 2 after a brave three-year fight with cancer, following his diagnosis with lung cancer in 2020

A Place In The Sun presenter Jonnie passed away on February 2 after a brave three-year fight with cancer, following his diagnosis with lung cancer in 2020

Jonnie was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020, and went public two years later revealing the cancer had spread and it was terminal

Jonnie was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020, and went public two years later revealing the cancer had spread and it was terminal 

Before Jonnie’s diagnosis, Jessica occasionally appeared in his Instagram posts, including a trip to Paris to celebrate his 49th birthday.

At the time, pictured by the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Jonnie wrote: ‘Been a hell of a week. I’m bowled over by the lovely messages thank you all so much. 

‘As touching as it’s been, I’ve also found it quite surreal – almost like we’re talking about some else. By my side throughout this is my wife so thought I’d take us to Paris for the weekend. 

‘We could only do this with the help from my family, in particular my amazing sisters who dropped everything and have driven up to the Toon to look after the boy band. We are having an amazing time. Thanks so much. xxx. #family #onelife #paris’.

In December 2018, Jonnie and Jessica welcomed their firstborn, Rex, with the presenter sharing a heartwarming Christmas Day photo on Instagram.

He penned: ‘Merry Christmas! Hope you had a great day – we spent all morning unwrapping this fella.

‘No name yet but at 8.8 pounds he’s already making an impression. Mum and baby doing well. #bruiser.’

Two years later in June 2020, Jonnie posted a touching picture to Instagram of Jessica and him with their newborn twin boys.

In the caption he thanked the hospital staff and affectionately shared the challenges and joys of parenthood.

With COVID-19 lockdown in full swing, he spoke of the strains of restrictions, and how the couple would navigate the early stages of raising three boys under 18 months.

He wrote: ‘They’ve arrived! After a long day in hospital the boys finally decided to make an appearance. They are identical in every way including weighing a good 5 pounds 7 each. No names yet. 

‘Jess was her usual magnificent self. I’m so proud of her for carrying around what looked like a planet these last few weeks and huge thanks to the amazing staff at The RVI in Newcastle.

He added: ‘Due to lockdown restrictions I’ve had to leave mum and twins in the hospital and await their return home so giving Rex as much fun & love as possible. 

‘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. Bring it on!’

TV host Jonnie revealed in November his cancer had spread to his brain after first being diagnosed in 2020.

Despite not share his courageous battle with the public straightaway, he later revealed the reason he kept it a secret was to ‘pay the bills’ but that he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the ‘kind messages’ he had received from the public.

Jonnie also kept fans updated on his home renovations, on social media, after the family moved up north to Newcastle so his wife could be nearer her family.

The huge house renovation which included ripping out the porch, moving doorways, and changing window panels, as well as interior changes, was done in order for Jonnie to set his family up after he was gone.

In October 2023, Jonnie and Jessica marked their seven-year anniversary, with Jonnie praising his ‘angel’ wife in a heartfelt tribute. 

The couple celebrated with a dinner and toasted their long-lasting love with some bubbles.

He captioned the post: ‘7 years married to this Angel. I use this term because the love she shows to others is beyond comparison. 

‘Last night was just us; chatting, planning and gossiping. So good. Amazing food and staff at @lovagejesmond made our evening perfect.’

Initially given a six-month prognosis, Jonnie defied medical expectations, facing the spread of cancer to his brain with a combination of medication, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

Just before Father’s Day 2023, Jonnie revealed he and Jessica decided not to tell his young children that he was dying.

He reasoned that the information would be too complex for his young children to process and understand.

Jonnie hoped that keeping his kids none-the-wiser would mean the family could create more happy memories together.

Jonnie told Hello! at the time: ‘I keep being asked: ‘Are you going to tell them?’ but tell them what?

‘It would be horrible news that they’d have to get their heads around. And it would confuse the hell out of Rex – he’s got a shocking enough day coming. Let’s bury our heads in the sand for as long as possible.’

Jonnie planned ahead and bought his three boys a special gift each to mark their 18th birthdays, more than a decade early, knowing he wouldn’t be there. 

In a statement announcing his death Jessica said: ‘In Loving Memory. It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of Jonnie’s passing.

‘A truly remarkable soul, he fought bravely against cancer with unwavering strength and courage. Jonnie touched the lives of so many with his kindness, warmth, and infectious spirit.

‘At this time, we kindly ask for the privacy of Jonnie’s family as they navigate through this profound loss. Their grief is immeasurable, and your thoughts, prayers, and support are deeply appreciated.

‘As we remember the beautiful moments shared with Jonnie, let us celebrate a life well-lived and a legacy that will forever be etched in our hearts.

‘Jonnie may be gone from our sight, but his love, laughter, and memories will live on.

‘Rest in peace, dear Jonnie. You will be dearly missed, but never forgotten.’

Jessica later took to her own account to share a snap of her late husband beaming and made a heart-wrenching tribute.

She said: ‘Goodnight my favourite. Thank you for everything. I will always love you.

‘The hardest day has come, a day I prayed wouldn’t come. It’s with all the the sadness in the world that I confirm Jonnie has passed away earlier today.

The couple, who wed in 2016 in what Jonnie fondly described as the 'happiest weekend of my life,' have three sons

The couple, who wed in 2016 in what Jonnie fondly described as the ‘happiest weekend of my life,’ have three sons 

‘His magical brain that continued to fight to the end has now gone to sleep. He has given me more than I could ever have wished for, 8 bonkers years of love and adventure and 3 amazing boys’. 

‘I will continue to make you proud but only with your love still finding me and guiding me for the rest of my life, me and the boys still need you. Jonnie you really were the most handsome man I ever knew and I am so sorry for this cruel end.

‘It really wasn’t fair and you didn’t deserve any of this. You gave so much time to others and touched everyone you met, I have never experienced anything like the effect you had on people. 

Jessica finished: ‘I love you so much and forever proud of you xxx.’

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.’



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