TV doctor Michael Mosley praised for innovating world of science broadcasting

Dr Michael Mosley has been praised by friends and colleagues for innovating the world of science and health broadcasting after the body of the TV doctor was found on a Greek island.

His widow, Dr Clare Bailey Mosley, confirmed a body discovered on Sunday morning in a rocky area near Agia Marina beach on Symi was that of her husband, describing the loss as “devastating”.

She said the 67-year-old, who went missing after leaving his wife and friends at Agios Nikolaos beach on Wednesday, appeared to have undertaken an “incredible climb, took the wrong route and collapsed where he couldn’t be easily seen” by emergency search teams.

An initial examination by a coroner has ruled out foul play but further tests are due to be carried out on the father-of-four in Rhodes to confirm a cause of death, the Daily Mail has reported.

The news has sparked an outpouring of grief from his loved ones and fans of his science programmes and films, which included the BBC series Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, which looked at healthcare in Britain, and the BBC Radio 4 podcast Just One Thing, where he revealed tips to help improve your health.

His co-presenter on Trust Me, I’m A Doctor Chris van Tulleken hailed him as “one of the most important broadcasters of the last few decades” as he paid tribute.

“Michael wasn’t just a rock solid friend, he was an incredibly generous human to everyone he worked with,” Van Tulleken wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“He basically invented a genre of science broadcasting: experimenting on himself, talking about his medical problems, being a curious human being not an ivory tower expert.

“He supported me and so many others at every stage of our careers, always at the end of the phone for support or advice.”

He also sent his love to Mosley’s family while praising his widow Clare, describing their joint-live show which he saw last month as “funny, informative, scientific, warm and centred around family”.

Dr Saleyha Ahsan, who also presented on Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, described him as “a national treasure” and a “hugely talented” man who had an ability to explain complex science in an accessible way to everyone.

Mimi Spencer, who co-wrote The Fast Diet with Mosley, praised him as an “immediately likeable, genuinely funny” person who had an “innate enthusiasm about life”, while physicist and TV presenter Brian Cox said he was a “mentor” to many of those starting out within science broadcasting.

Mosley first trained as a doctor in London before moving into the world of media, becoming a presenter, documentary maker, author and columnist.

Announcing the news of his death, Dr Bailey Mosley said in a statement from his agent to the PA news agency: “I don’t know quite where to begin with this.

“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.

“I am incredibly proud of our children, their resilience and support over the past days.

Dr Michael Mosley with his wife Clare Bailey in 2013
Michael Mosley with his wife Clare Bailey in 2013 (Alamy/PA)

“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.

“We’re taking comfort in the fact that he so very nearly made it.

“He did an incredible climb, took the wrong route and collapsed where he couldn’t be easily seen by the extensive search team.

“Michael was an adventurous man, it’s part of what made him so special.”

She said the family are also “so grateful to the extraordinary people on Symi” who worked “tirelessly” to help find Mosley, with some working from dawn until dusk unasked.

Dr Bailey Mosley added: “I feel so lucky to have our children and my amazing friends.

“Most of all, I feel so lucky to have had this life with Michael. Thank-you all.”

Agia Marina in Symi, Greece, after the body of TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley was removed from the rocks on the right-hand side of the compound
Agia Marina in Symi, Greece, after the body of TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley was removed from the rocks on the right-hand side of the compound (Yui Mok/PA)

Mosley’s four children joined their mother, a GP and cookery book writer, on Symi earlier this week to help with the search effort.

His body was discovered around mid-morning on Sunday beneath a fence that runs around a bar on Agia Marina beach, which is surrounded by hilly, rocky terrain.

Police arrived at Agia Marina around 20 minutes after the body was discovered about 90 metres from the coastline, with firefighters later arriving just after 2pm local time to take the body away from the island on a boat.

On Saturday, an emergency services helicopter spent hours flying across the mountainous search site on Symi between Pedi bay and Agia Marina, and hovered over the spot where the body was later found.

Agia Marina bar manager Ilias Tsavaris, 38, first saw the body alongside journalists after the island’s mayor “saw something” by the fence of the bar and alerted staff.

The search effort had been widespread, operating in dangerous conditions and high temperatures, and included police, firefighters with drones, Greek Red Cross workers, divers, a search dog and a helicopter.

Map of Symi with key points of where Michael Mosley went missing and his body was found
(PA Graphics)

Greek authorities shifted their focus on Saturday after CCTV footage from a house at the edge of a small marina in Pedi showed the presenter walking towards a mountainous path at about 2pm local time on Wednesday.

New footage released on Saturday also appeared to show Mosley walking unimpeded with an umbrella near to the marina.

Sophie Laurimore, director of The Soho Agency which represented Mosley, said it is with “profound sadness” that they bid farewell to the “wise, wonderful and lovely man”.

“Michael loved what he did and found it a pleasure and a great privilege to work with his colleagues in TV, radio, publishing and at his business, The Fast 800,” she added in a statement shared to PA.

“He was immensely grateful for how receptive the public were to the ideas he had the privilege to share and to the many scientists whose work he had the honour to help popularise.

“Our hearts are with Clare and the children. Michael was unique.

“The work he did was important. We will miss him dreadfully.”