once admitted he didn’t think his time on would last.
in 2022, it was announced today that the TV presenter had .
From 2004 until 2021, Irwin on the long-running lifestyle series.
But despite first being selected from hundreds of applicants to appear, Irwin said a few years ago he never expected his time on the show to go for as long as it did.
Before appearing on screens, Irwin worked for business transfer specialists Christie & Co, becoming an associate director within three years, before going on to work for Colliers International.
But in 2004 he decided to take a leap into TV presenting on the advice of his colleagues.
It was 20 years ago when the property expert was singled out to present the series alongside co-star Jasmine Harman, who labelled him her ‘partner-in-crime’ in her tribute following news of his death.
As explained in a 2021 interview, Irwin had previously bought and sold businesses that proved to be profitable but decided to give up his job to try a new challenge in front of the cameras.
However, he was nervous to give up his ‘lucrative career’ over fears it might not be a long-term plan.
But it was his business colleagues who encouraged him to take the presenting gig.
‘People who work in business and property thought it was a great opportunity but I didn’t think it would last,’ he told the .
‘I thought that I’d go work in it for a year or so, have some fun and then go back to the real world and get another job.’
He added: ‘And then it just kept going. So, I kept doing it.’
In that interview Irwin said he felt like part of the ‘furniture’ of the show and that he was ‘immensely proud of its continued success’.
However, the following year, following his cancer diagnosis, Irwin claimed he was ‘pushed aside for someone healthier’ by Channel 4.
‘I told them I wanted to work. When I said I can get you doctor notes and assurances from my oncologist that I am fit to work, I was told, verbatim, “Oh, you really don’t want to go down that route, do you?”
‘They said, “We don’t think we can get the insurance”, not “We can’t get the insurance”, but, “We don’t think…” That broke my heart and affected my mental health.’
He claimed that the show paid him for the rest of the season but didn’t renew his contract.
Adding when speaking to The Sun, Irwin said: ‘Within two weeks someone else was on TV doing my job. I just feel I earned a bit more from them after 18 years.’
At the time Channel 4 and Freeform told the outlet in a statement ‘no stone was left unturned in trying to enable Jonnie to continue his international filming with us during Covid but the production company were unable to secure adequate insurance cover for him’.
The companies added they ‘understand how frustrating this must be for him at this incredibly difficult time’.
A Place in the Sun is streaming on Channel 4.