THE frontman of TV shows including Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun and BBC’s Escape to the Country is to be honoured at a Birmingham City University graduation ceremony next week in recognition of his achievements in the property sector.

After graduating from Birmingham City University (then known as University of Central England) in 1997 with a degree in estate management, Jonnie Irwin went on to work in surveying with business transfer specialists Christie and Co, advising on the sale and purchase of businesses from private corner shops to corporate public houses and hotels.

After gaining experience with Christie and Co and taking on the role of associate director within three years, he then went on to join real estate company Colliers International.

At the age of 30, Leicestershire-born Mr Irwin was invited to audition for a pilot of Channel 4’s TV programme A Place in the Sun - Home or Away and more than 200 episodes and nine years later he remains as one of the show’s presenters today.

He also currently presents BBC’s Escape to the Country and Cowboy Trap and has previously worked on BBC’s To Buy or Not to Buy.

Mr Irwin combines his media career with running a small business and property consultancy and is a partner of TakeHome Media, a television development and production company.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying at Birmingham City University. I can say hand on heart that I wouldn’t be working in my current profession if it wasn’t for the staff at the university, which makes it even more of a privilege to receive this honorary doctorate from an institution I hold in such high regard.”

The graduation ceremony in which he will receive his honorary doctorate takes place at Symphony Hall in Birmingham on Tuesday.