Dr Michael Mosley remembered as ‘national treasure’ and ‘hero’ for health advice

Colleagues of Dr Michael Mosley have led tributes, hailing the late TV broadcaster, producer and columnist as a “national treasure” and a “kind and gentle man”, after his death while holidaying on a Greek island was confirmed.

The 67-year-old TV personality was with friends at Agios Nikolaos beach on Symi on Wednesday before going missing during a walk by himself to the centre of the island.

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

Inside the Human Body
Michael Mosley (BBC/PA)

Mimi Spencer, who co-authored The Fast Diet with Dr Mosley, paid tribute to him as “immediately likeable, genuinely funny” and said she will “miss him terribly”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, she said: “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.

“He had a brilliant line in tangential anecdote which comes out of his broadcasting as well, that his mind would go down rabbit holes and come out with fantastic snippets of information, and talking to him in person was much like that, you never quite knew where you were going to arrive, but the journey was always fascinating.”

Ms Spencer said she believes the 5:2 intermittent fasting plan and The Fast Diet, which the pair helped popularise, gave Mosley so much joy “because it benefited so many people”.

Ms Spencer added: “Funnily enough in person, he could also be quite self-deprecating, and actually quite shy. So he never blew his trumpet, he was quite a humble person.

“I think when he had success, whether it was on the TV or through his books, he was rather thrown by it, he wasn’t expecting it, and that speaks to the man really; that he kept that humility throughout.”

A set of Michael Mosley books showing a Fast 800 cover and an author photo
TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley wrote several advice books including the Fast 800 Diet (PA)

Dr Saleyha Ahsan, Dr Mosley’s co-presenter on Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, described him as “a national treasure” who put her at ease during her first audition for the BBC series.

Speaking to BBC News, Ahsan said: “Michael’s a national treasure and he’s so personable.”

She recalled how Mosley put her “to ease” during an on-camera audition for the BBC series which looked at health care in Britain.

Ahsan said: “I can now appreciate that’s a one-off, not everyone is able to make other people feel so at ease with lights and cameras in front of them.

“But then to forget about all of that and just to focus on the science, on the story, on the message that we’re trying to get out, is such a talented man, hugely talented.”

She also praised his “passion for explaining science to a wider audience”, adding: “Making it accessible to anyone and everyone, not just a niche scientific crowd, but to everyone.”

Academic and broadcaster Alice Roberts shared three pictures on social media with Mosley, with whom she first worked on her 2009 TV series Human Journey.

Prof Roberts said the “fragility of life is so shocking” as she recalled working with him and seeing him at the Hay Festival two weeks ago, adding: “I can’t believe he’s gone. My thoughts are with his bereaved family.”

The Hay Festival shared black and white photos of Dr Mosley taken during his appearance of the literature and arts festival last month.

Organisers of the annual event in Hay-on-Wye wrote on X: “It was a privilege to share his work on our stages. Our thoughts go to his family, friends and colleagues.”

Mosley recorded a special edition of his BBC R4 podcast, just One Thing, on May 25 on stage at the festival with Professor Tanya Byron, a consultant clinical psychologist, broadcaster and author.

Celebrity chef and healthy eating campaigner Jamie Oliver praised the work Mosley had done for public health with his broadcasting and research.

Oliver wrote on Instagram: “What a wonderfully sweet, kind and gentle man he was. He did such a lot of good for public health with his TV shows and research.

“He was a curious investigator, producer and presenter and often changed the conversation around many public health issues for the better.”

Tom Watson, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party, described Mosley, as a “hero”.

“It’s hard to describe how upset I am by this news,” Mr Watson said on social media.

“Through courageous, science-based journalism, Michael Mosley has helped thousands of people get well and healthy. I’m one of them.

“He was a hero to me. He will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Watson said in an interview after losing around seven stone that Mosley’s The Fast Diet book was part of his weight-loss regime.

Author, TV writer and former doctor Adam Kay said it was “desperately sad” to hear the news.

“My thoughts with his family – may his memory be a blessing,” Kay wrote on X.

Physicist and TV presenter Brian Cox said Mosley was a “genuinely lovely man” who helped him when he started his TV career.

“Tragic news about Michael Mosley. He was such an important figure both on and off screen in the BBC science unit, and as a mentor to many of us when we started out in science presenting”, he wrote on X.

“And, as many of our colleagues have already said on here, he was a genuinely lovely man. So sorry for his family. RIP Michael.”

This Morning said staff at the ITV programme were “heartbroken” to learn that Mosley, a regular contributor, had died.

In a post on X, the show added: “Everyone at This Morning is thinking of Clare, their four children and the rest of Michael’s family and friends at this extremely sad time.”

Dr Michael Mosley standing in a field wearing a purple shirt
Television presenter Dr Michael Mosley has been hailed a hero for his healthy eating advice (Alamy/PA)

Angela Rippon hailed Mosley’s contribution to keeping the nation healthy as “outstanding”.

“His Just One Thing broadcasts really did persuade people that by changing just one thing to their daily routine they could make a serious difference to their health and wellbeing,” she told the PA news agency.

“His death is such a tragedy. Sincere condolences to his family.”

Broadcaster and materials scientist Professor Mark Miodownik remembered Mosley as a “bright spark” and said he will “live on through his influential Just One Thing radio series”.

He said: “Science has lost one of its best and most influential communicators.

“His warmth and connection to the audience was remarkable.

“When we worked together on the BBC TV series Genius of Invention I was amazed and impressed with his ability to explain topics from steam engines to the electric telegraph.

“We briefly shared the same taste in shirts and I remember him as a bright spark who although now sadly extinguished, will live on through his influential Just One Thing radio series.”