Jonnie Irwin has opened up on leaving a digital legacy behind for his loved ones after he dies, saying that he finds it ‘amazing’ that he could speak to his wife and children after his death.
In November last year, the TV presenter, who formerly worked on A Place In The Sun, revealed that he had terminal cancer, after being diagnosed in 2020.
The 49-year-old shared that he could have months to live after the cancer in his lung spread to his brain, saying at the time that his sons ‘are going to grow up not knowing their dad and that breaks my heart’.
On Friday’s Morning Live on BBC One, Jonnie shed light on how people can store their memories and messages online for their family and friends, to ensure that their presence on digital platforms isn’t deleted.
In the segment, Jonnie explained that he has a ‘lifetime of memories’, many of which has been stored online, and in the past two and a half years since his diagnosis, he’s been getting his affairs in order, having not previously thought much about his digital legacy.
He admitted that he had no idea what would happen to his images when he dies, nor ‘who’ll want to access them, or if they’ll get deleted and lost forever’.
The programme included an interview with James Norris, the founder of MyWishes, which allows people to create digital wills by logging into each of their accounts through the site to decide what will happen to their profiles.
While Facebook also has the option to request for a person who’s died to have their profile memorialised, a woman called Paula Fowler was featured on the show to explain her use of a website called Biscuit Tin.
Having been featured on Dragons’ Den, Biscuit Tin can store messages, family recipes, nicknames, sayings and much more for loved ones to cherish after someone they care about has died.
Paula, from East Bowdon, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2017 and has been recording video messages for her husband and two children.
She’s filmed videos in a particular spot on the beach that she loves, so that her family ‘can stand on this point and know that I’m still with them’.
Closing the segment, Jonnie said: ‘It’s amazing to think that I too could speak to my wife and children after I pass away. My diagnosis has taken a lot from me, but it’s given me the ability to prepare.’
He urged people to ‘take action’ with their digital legacy, saying that he’s going to ‘take every opportunity I have to do just that for those that I love’.
Last month, Jonnie shared beautiful pictures with his wife and children from a trip to the Lake District, captioning his post: ‘Today out in the fresh air was what we all needed.’
He previously told Hello! magazine when publicly announcing his diagnosis: ‘I don’t know how long I have left, but I try to stay positive and my attitude is that I’m living with cancer, not dying from it.’
Morning Live airs weekdays from 9.15am on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
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