Jonnie Irwin obituary


Jonnie Irwin, the presenter of TV property programmes, who has died of most cancers aged 50, was notable for his recent face, attraction and cheeky method, with a way of humour that he may draw on when his display screen “shoppers” proved choosy or unrealistic about how far their budgets would stretch.

The Channel 4 collection A Place within the Solar took him around the globe with Brits looking for their dream properties, though the sunny climes of Spain and different southern European international locations proved to be the most well-liked locations.

The present started in 2001, offered by Amanda Lamb, and in 2004 Irwin turned the primary co-presenter with Jasmine Harman of a spin-off collection, A Place within the Solar: Dwelling or Away?, with {couples} deciding whether or not to relocate in Britain or overseas, which ran till 2019.

By then, Irwin had turn out to be one of many presenters of the father or mother present and its sister programme A Place within the Solar: Winter Solar, with many episodes made in Florida, the place, Irwin famous, some properties had fallen in value by as much as 60% following the worldwide recession of 2008.

The fun of constructing enthusiastic homebuyers’ international goals come true sometimes got here at private price. Whereas filming in Spain, Irwin was injured after strolling straight right into a glass door as he headed in the direction of the beckoning solar. “Earlier than every home, I am going and ensure I do know the place the whole lot is,” he mentioned on the Channel 4 present Steph’s Packed Lunch in 2021.

Jonnie Irwin with his fellow presenters, Jasmin Harman, centre, and Amanda Lamb in 2008.
Jonnie Irwin together with his fellow presenters, Jasmin Harman, centre, and Amanda Lamb in 2008. {Photograph}: Jonathan Hordle/Shutterstock

“I assumed, ‘I simply want one other poke at that backyard, simply so I do know what I’m speaking about earlier than they get in there.’ So I ran by the home. After all, they’d shut the patio door and I simply went straight by it. After which I used to be on my knees instantly, like, ‘What’s going on?’ Blood in all places. The proprietor couldn’t imagine it. I lower my shirt, lower my hand, broke my nostril and pushed my tooth again.”

From 2010 till 2023, Irwin was additionally a presenter of one other widespread daytime property programme, the BBC’s Escape to the Nation, for these searching for new properties in Britain.

His time on A Place within the Solar got here to an finish in 2021 following a analysis of terminal lung most cancers the earlier yr. Irwin saved it secret from the general public till 2022, when he mentioned he was “aggrieved” at having been dropped. The present’s manufacturing firm defined that it had been unable to get international journey insurance coverage for him in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Being a TV presenter nearly defines you,” Irwin mentioned on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme in 2022 after the most cancers unfold to his mind. “Not with the ability to journey and do what I feel I’m fairly good at, and never with the ability to present for my household – each present I do now, that’s cash for my household sooner or later.”

Irwin was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, to Avie (nee Orr) and James Irwin, a property developer. He grew up within the Leicestershire village of Bitteswell, attended Lutterworth grammar faculty (now faculty), took half in novice dramatics and performed rugby as a junior for Lutterworth.

After gaining a level in property administration from the College of Central England (now Birmingham Metropolis College), he started his profession in 1997 as a surveyor with Christie & Co, shopping for and promoting industrial properties, and have become an affiliate director inside three years.

Throughout this time, whereas taking part in for Rugby Lions RFC, he broke his again. Then, in 2003, he joined the property firm Colliers Worldwide, serving to to ascertain a specialist hospitality venues division in Birmingham.

On the lookout for change, he was contemplating shifting to Sydney, Australia, when he heard {that a} tv firm was hiring property specialists for a brand new Channel 4 programme. Though he missed the deadline, Irwin recorded a tape of himself interviewing the general public in a buying centre, despatched it in, attended an audition and landed his job on A Place within the Solar: Dwelling or Away?

For the BBC, alongside Escape to the Nation, he offered two collection of To Purchase or To not Purchase (2010-11), giving potential consumers an opportunity to check out properties; Wreck or Prepared? (2011), about renovation tasks, a interest of his personal; the 2013 run of Cowboy Entice, which uncovered shoddy builders; Make My Dwelling Greater (2014), which adopted householders increasing their properties; and Escape to the Good City (2019).

He additionally helped British individuals looking for to purchase each properties and companies overseas in Dream Lives for Sale on Sky One and offered the Channel 4 weekday-morning present The Renovation Sport (each 2011).

In 2016, Irwin married Jessica Holmes. She and their three sons, Rex and the twins Rafa and Cormac, survive him.


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