Escape to the Country host Jonnie Irwin leaves heartbreaking message to his children before death

5 February 2024, 12:03

Jonnie Irwin with his wife Jessica Holmes and sons Rex, Rafa and Cormac
Jonnie Irwin left an emotional message for his sons before his passing. Picture: Instagram/Jonnie Irwin

By Hope Wilson

Jonnie Irwin left some parting advice for his young sons.

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Jonnie Irwin left an emotional message for his sons before his death aged 50.

Prior to his death, the Escape to the Country host- who shares sons Rex, five, and twins Rafa and Cormac, three, with his wife Jessica Holmes, 40- opened up about what advice he would like to leave his children before he passed.

Speaking to HELLO!, Jonnie had some touching words for his children, stating: "Family first, always look after your family. Your brothers, your mother... Put them first. Support them, love them, and know that they're so much more important than anyone else."

He continued: "I want them to believe they can do anything… I want them to be confident, but believe in yourselves, because you can do anything… I've seen their capabilities and they're boundless."

Jonnie Irwin smiles with his wife Jessica and sons Rex, Cormac and Rafa
Jonnie Irwin made an emotional statement before his death. Pictured with his wife Jessica and sons Rex, Cormac and Rafa. Picture: Instagram/Jonnie Irwin

The A Place in the Sun presenter was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2020, but went public with his diagnosis in 2022.

Since then, Jonnie continued to keep fans up-to-date with his health battle, often posting updates from hospital and revealing his treatment plans.

Despite his wavering health, the Channel 4 host continued with his TV work, right up until his death.

Read more: Jonnie Irwin says he and wife are 'making plans' as they celebrate anniversary amid health battle

Read more: Jonnie Irwin marks 'last ever' school drop off amid cancer battle

Jonnie Irwin smiles with his son
Jonnie Irwin often posted images with his family . Picture: Instagram/Jonnie Irwin

Jonnie's family announced his death on the 2nd of February with an emotional Instagram post.

The statement read: "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. 🕊️💔"

Jonnie Irwin pictured with his wife Jessica Holmes on a motorbike
Jonnie Irwin's family released a statement following his death aged 50. Picture: Instagram/Jonnie Irwin

After the announcement, Jonnie's Escape to the Country colleague Jules Hudson, 54, commented: "Just got home to hear the devastating news of our old friend Jonnie Irwin.

"Escape to the Country is family to those of us lucky enough to make it, and Jonnie was its life and soul. Always funny, always full of mischief, he met his diagnosis with characteristic fight and a selfless determination to do whatever he could to beat it.

All of our thoughts are with Jonnie and his family on a day we all dared to hope would never come. Farewell old friend, I’ll see you next time… with all our love, Jules Xxx"

Jonnie Irwin smiles
Jonnie Irwin confirmed he had lung cancer in 2022. Picture: Alamy

Other followers were quick to flood the post with love and support for Jonnie's family.

Podcast host Vogue Williams, 38, wrote: "Incredibly courageous man…"

RuPaul's Drag Race UK finalist Baga Chips stated: "What a fighter. Rest in piece mate ❤️ Sending love to you all xxx"

Gogglebox star Stephen Lustig-Webb added: "Rest in peace, always came across as a thoroughly decent person! So sad, love n hugs to him family x"

Read more: Who is Jonnie Irwin's wife Jessica Holmes and how many children do they have?

Read more: Jonnie Irwin says cancer is 'on the move' as he shares health update

Read more: Jonnie Irwin dead: TV star dies aged 50 after cancer battle

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