Body believed to be missing TV presenter Michael Mosley found on Greek island

Jun 9, 2024



ATHENS (AP) — The body of missing British TV presenter and author Dr. Michael Mosley was found on a Greek island Sunday morning after a days-long search, his family said.

Mosley, who went missing on the island of Symi on Wednesday afternoon, was spotted among rocks on a rugged stretch of coast by a party on a boat that included the local mayor and journalists.

Mosley’s wife said her husband took the wrong route on a hike and collapsed just short of reaching a marina in a place where his body couldn’t easily be seen.

“Michael was an adventurous man, it’s part of what made him so special,” Dr. Clare Bailey Mosley said in statement. “It’s devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband. We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together.”

Mosley, 67, was well known in Britain for his many programs on the BBC, regular appearances on television and radio and his column in the Daily Mail newspaper. He was known outside the U.K. for his 2013 book “The Fast Diet,” which he co-authored with journalist Mimi Spencer. The book proposed the so-called “5:2 diet,” which promised to help people lose weight quickly by minimizing their calorie intake two days a week while eating healthily on the other five.

He subsequently introduced a rapid weight loss program and made a number of films about diet and exercise.

Mosley often pushed his body to extreme lengths to see the effects of his diets and also lived with tapeworms in his guts for six weeks for the BBC documentary “Infested! Living With Parasites.”

Even before the body’s identity was confirmed, tributes poured in for Mosley.

“In person he was very much the sort of figure that you would see on television: immediately likeable, genuinely funny, enthusiastic, he had this innate enthusiasm about life and he was always very generous with his time,” his co-author Spencer told BBC Radio 4. “He never blew his trumpet, he was quite a humble person.”

Tom Watson, former deputy leader of Britain’s Labour Party, called Mosley a hero and said he lost nearly 100 pounds (45 kilograms) following one of the doctor’s diet books.

“It’s hard to describe how upset I am by this news,” Watson said on the social media platform X. “Through courageous, science-based journalism, Michael Mosley has helped thousands of people get well and healthy. I’m one of them.”

Dr. Saleyha Ahsan, who was co-host on “Trust Me, I’m A Doctor,” said Mosley had a talent for putting people at ease and explaining science to a general audience, “not just a niche scientific crowd, but to everyone.”

“Michael’s a national treasure and he’s so personable,” Ahsan told the BBC.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver said Mosley’s research and TV shows had served the public well and changed the conversation around health issues.

“What a wonderfully sweet, kind and gentle man he was,” Oliver said on Instagram.

Clare Bailey Mosley thanked the people of the island of Symi, who she said worked tirelessly to find him.

“Some of these people on the island, who hadn’t even heard of Michael, worked from dawn till dusk unasked,” she said. “My family and I have been hugely comforted by the outpouring of love from people from around the world. It’s clear that Michael meant a huge amount to so many of you.”

Lefteris Papakalodoukas, the island’s mayor, told The Associated Press that he was on a boat with journalists when they saw a body some 65 feet (20 meters) above the Agia Marina beach. He said Mosley was lying face-up next to a fence.

“We zoomed with the cameras and saw it was him,” he said.

Ilias Tsavaris, a bar manager at the marina, said he scrambled up the hillside after getting a call from the boat telling him to confirm the sighting.

“When I walked up I saw something like a body,” he said. “You don’t see a dead body everyday, it is not a warzone, it’s summer, you are supposed to have fun and swimming.”

As police officers were retrieving Mosley’s body, one fell on the slope and had to be carried away on a stretcher, local media reported. The body will be taken to the nearby island of Rhodes for autopsy.

Mosley had four children with his wife, who is also an author and health columnist.


Associated Press writer Brian Melley contributed to this report from London.

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