BBC Escape to the Country fans in tears as Jonnie Irwin tribute airs alongside final ever episode

BBC Escape to the Country fans in tears as Jonnie Irwin tribute airs alongside final ever episode

Johnnie Irwin discusses cancer on Conversations with Jane McLelland weeks before his death

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 05/02/2024

- 16:15

The property expert and TV presenter died aged 50 on Friday

BBC’s Escape to the Country fans have been left emotional as the broadcaster changed its schedule to honour the late Jonnie Irwin.

Irwin, who announced in 2022 he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer two years prior which had spread to his brain, starred as one of the main presenters in the property series as well as Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun.

The 50-year-old had been regularly updating viewers on his condition after the cancer spread to his brain, bravely sharing parts of his journey before he died on Friday, February 2.

Fans have been left in tears after it was announced on Monday that Irwin’s last episode of the countryside house hunting programme would be airing in place of the scheduled show for the weekday afternoon.

Posting on the programme’s official Instagram account, bosses shared a photograph of a smiling Irwin and captioned it: “In a change to the BBC schedule today, this afternoon’s transmission of Escape to the Country is the last programme Jonnie recorded with us and will include a tribute to him at the end.”

Touched fans of the beloved presenter responded to say they’d be tuning into the poignant instalment, with some sharing how the sad news has impacted them.

Jonnie Irwin

Jonnie Irwin's family announced his death on Friday


One wrote: “I will make sure I am watching. A lovely gesture to Jonnie who was loved by so many followers of the show.”

Another paid tribute by adding: “What a brave soul @jonnieirwintv was, how I wish God would have blessed him with the miracle of an extended life. Sending him infinite peace, lots of prayers of strength his lovely wife @jessofjesmond’s way. Thanks for the repeat episode @escape_country.”

“You will never be forgotten Jonnie. Sending my love and hugs to his family,” a third Instagram user commented.

Another penned: “This has to be the most heartbreaking... I am a forever fan of the programme and sincerely I haven’t stopped crying since.”

At the end of the episode on Monday, the show honoured Irwin with a compilation of some of his best bits during his tenure on the program.

Irwin was told in 2022 he had just “months to live” but defied the odds and continued to make occasional television appearances.

Last week, the presenter’s family shared the sad news he had died.

Taking to Irwin’s Instagram account, they announced: “In Loving Memory [star emoji]. 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,” the statement concluded alongside dove and heartbroken emojis.

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