Jonnie Irwin talking on a podcast; inset, on a Place In The Sun (Credit: C4/YouTube/Composite: ED!)

Jonnie Irwin to celebrate 50th birthday – defying doctors’ grim life expectancy warning of days

Jonnie had previously marked the milestone early fearing he wouldn't see his actual big day

Jonnie Irwin is turning 50 next weekend – defying the tragic life expectancy doctors had given him last year. 

The TV presenter was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2020 and he went public with the news last November. 

At this point he was given six months to live and decided to celebrate the birthday milestone early at a huge party for friends and family in March.

But now he’s looking forward to celebrating the actual day – next Saturday, November 18.

Jonnie Irwin talking on GMB
Jonnie Irwin has been open about living with cancer (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

‘I was on the cusp of death’

Speaking to The Sun, Jonnie has now revealed how he was given just days to live back in May.

Jonnie told the tabloid what was going through his mind as he lay in a hospice bed. “I thought I’d had it. I was on the cusp of death,” he said.

“I’d never thought about dying, despite the cancer, and Jess [Jonnie’s wife]  and I don’t talk about it.

The Place In The Sun presenter continued: “But at my weakest point I thought, ‘This is it, this is the beginning of the end’. I was just lying there in a hospice bed, sleeping a lot of the time.”

He was sent home by oncologists, who advised him to spend what little time he had remaining with his family.

Jonnie Irwin in an interview with HELLO

Jonnie Irwin describes doctors’ grim prognosis

“My ears only heard, ‘You’re going home’ because I was pretty out of it,” Jonnie continued. “It was only later I thought, ‘They were telling me I’m done’.”

Jess added: “I really thought Jonnie was going to die. I didn’t think he’d come out of the hospice at one point.”

Heartbreakingly, Jess was also told that Jonnie was unlikely to survive for the birthday party she had planned for their twins’ third birthday.

Jonnie Irwin with his wife and children
Jonnie was able to spend his birthday with his wife and children (Credit: YouTube)

Jonnie Irwin defies the odds

However, Jonnie refused to give up. Returning home, he began forcing himself out of bed every day, while drinking protein shakes to build his strength and using an oxygen tent to fight the disease’s growth.

“I won’t let cancer define me,” Jonnie said.

“A friend of mine told me, ‘Your body achieves what your mind achieves’, and I want to live by that.”

Jonnie is now headed on holiday to Spain, with his wife, children and friends to celebrate his big birthday – again.

Read more: Jonnie Irwin feeling ‘pretty whacked’ after radiotherapy as he admits ‘I probably should be resting’

Jonnie Irwin's Terminal Cancer Battle | Good Morning Britain

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!

Joel Harley
Freelance Writer

Related Topics