Helen Skelton makes emotional vow to late Jonnie Irwin as she pays tribute to BBC co-star after his death

Helen Skelton makes emotional vow to late Jonnie Irwin as she pays tribute to BBC co-star after his death

WATCH NOW: Helen Skelton dedicates Morning Live to Jonnie Irwin

Olivia Gantzer

By Olivia Gantzer

Published: 06/02/2024

- 14:02

The former Countryfile star paid tribute to her BBC colleague

Helen Skelton appeared visibly moved as she paid tribute to the late Jonnie Irwin following his death last week.

A Place in the Sun and Escape to the Country presenter Irwin died on Friday at the age of 50 following a battle with cancer.

Several of Irwin’s friends and former colleagues have since paid tribute to him, with Skelton and Morning Live co-host Gaby Roslin taking the opportunity on Monday.

Roslin began: “After Jonnie’s diagnosis in 2020, he joined Morning Live to share his story and tackle the taboos around the disease.

“Together, we spoke about critical illness insurance, palliative care and the importance of leaving a lasting digital legacy for loved ones.”

Skelton continued: “Now his passion was property, so we also followed his own renovation project to create a home for his two boys to support them in the future and today, we celebrate his life and as per Jonnie’s wishes, continue the conversation around the effects of cancer.”

Helen Skelton and Gabby Roslin

Helen and Gabby remembered their late BBC co-star on Monday's Morning Live


As a video showed clips of the property expert throughout his career, Skelton could be heard adding: “He was determined to challenge the taboo around talking about cancer.

“Jonnie joined the Morning Live team to get use his experience to get us talking about end-of-life care.”

To ensure Irwin’s legacy and desires live on, Skelton took a moment to vow to continue raising awareness.

She emotionally stated: “On your behalf, Jonnie, we promise to continue that conversation. For the lives you changed and the joy you brought, thank you, from all of us.”

Jonnie Irwin

Jonnie Irwin died on Friday after a battle with cancer


Irwin was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020 and given the news two years later that the illness had spread to his brain, prompting the presenter to go public with the diagnosis.

He was given just months to live at the time but continued to raise awareness of his situation and others battling the devastating illness and survived until February 2024.

Irwin’s wife Jessica announced the news last week, writing: “Good night my favourite. Thank you for everything. I will always love you.

“The hardest day has come, a day I prayed wouldn’t come. 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 Irwin

Jonnie Irwin's final Escape to the Country episode was aired in his memory on Monday


The 50-year-old is survived by his wife and three sons: Rex and twins Rafa and Cormac.

In another gesture in Irwin’s memory this week, the BBC also aired Irwin’s final Escape to the Country instalment in tribute to him on Monday, leaving fans in tears.

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