Dr Michael Mosley's children were just 350ft away from place of body (2024)

Dr Michael Mosley's children desperately retraced his steps yesterday after he went missing on his holiday walk and tragically they were just 350ft away from where his body was eventually found.

His body was discovered in a rocky area beside Agia Marina on Symi on Sunday after an extensive search led by emergency workers, around a 30-minute walk from the village of Pedi where Mosley was last seen on CCTV.

Dr Mosley's grown-up children Alex, Jack, Dan and Kate had arrived at the island on Saturday to join their mother Clare Bailey in the heart-wrenching searches, and little did they know how close they were.

Mosley's wife, Dr Bailey, had been searching the island joined by her British friends before the children came to help.

Hopes were raised after a man matching his description was reported in similar clothes and Dr Bailey rushed to look at the footage, only to have her heart crushed when he wasn't her husband.

It appeared the Mail columnist had walked around the perimeter of the beach bar at Agia Marina and was heading towards the sea.A kiosk at the bar looks towards the headland where his body was found and police are working on the theory he had been dead for 'several days'.

Dr Mosley was last seen on Wednesday afternoon at 1.30pm heading towards Pedi and CCTV picked him up walking through the village. The last sighting was at a house at the end of the bay in Pedi on a camera which showed him striding purposely up a hill towards Agia Marina.

Temperatures at the time were around 37c and although he had a bottle of water with him the heat would have made it incredibly difficult.

Dr Michael Mosley, who went missing on Wednesday, with his wife Clare Bailey

Police believed Dr Mosley was seen on CCTV in the town of Pedi before making a wrong turn along a path heading north, on the island of Symi

The resort of Agia Marina, the location where a body was found

Young British volunteers, friends of the family walk the pathway towards Agua Marina near Pedi on Friday as they searched for Dr Mosley

Friends and volunteers in Symi, Greece, where a search and rescue operation has been under way for Dr Mosley

It appeared that he may have been trying to reach the sea as his body was just a few feet from the shore. A source said the distinctive umbrella he had been carrying at the time was close to him.

At the time of his disappearance there was an excessive heat warning from the Greek Meteorological office, with temperatures predicted to hit a blistering 38c - unusual for early June.

Police looking forDr Mosley are investigating the discovery of a body close to an area known as The Abyss.

Read MoreBREAKING NEWS Body found in search is Dr Michael Mosley, Greek police confirm - after Mail columnist went missing

The body was found by a waiterat a nearby beach bar after being alerted by the mayor who spotted something 'unusual' from the seat.The body was found at Agia Marina around30 minutes walk from Pedi where he was last seen.

Waiter Ilias Tsavaris said he had been sent up to have a look following the mayor's alert when he saw the 'glint from a watch' and a body.

On Saturday a Greek fire brigade helicopter hovered overhead the spot where the body was found.

Police arrived around 20 minutes after it had been discovered - around 100 metres from the shoreline.

A short while later a coastguard boat arrived and anchored just off the beach while a small tender with more officers to the scene.

Mayor Eleftherios Papakaloudoukas had accompanied media to Agia Marina but was on his way back to Pedi when he looked back and saw something unusual on the rocks.

He then called the beach restaurant and alerted staff who rushed over towards what he had seen with a group of British journalists who had remained behind.

This is the picture of Dr Mosley posted with an appeal after he went missing while walking on holiday in Greece on Wednesday

The waiter who found the body on the Greek island of Symi

Dr Mosley was reported missing byDr Clare Bailey, his wife of nearly 40 years (they are pictured together in Buckinghamshire in June 2013)

A member of the search team is stretchered away at Agia Marina in Symi, Greece

Firefighters on a beach during a search for Dr Mosley yesterday on the Greek island of Symi

Officials said the coroner had been informed and was travelling to Symi from Rhodes.

The waiter who found the body, Mr Tsavaris, said:'The mayor had been here to give interviews to the media and then left on a boat to return to Pedi.

'From the sea he saw something unusual and then he called the restaurant and asked them to check it out.

'I was sent up there and as I turned the fence to go up I saw a glint from a watch and I then I saw the body at the same time.'

On Saturday MailOnline was at the Agia Marina and watched as the fire brigade helicopter swooped low over the area where the body was but didn't spot it.

In another bizarre twist a police officer at the scene suffered a suspected broken leg as he jumped from a wall close to the body and had to be carried away on a stretcher.

Read MoreEXCLUSIVE Rescuers hunting for missing Michael Mosley search cave amid fears Mail columnist is trapped

A major operation was launched to find the doctor after he vanished while hiking alonein blistering 36C (97F) heat on Wednesday.

His wife Dr Clare Bailey, 62, raised the alarm when he failed to return home by 7.30pm and local authorities began tracing his route overnight.

Dr Mosley, 67, was one of Britain's best known medics, whose revolutionary diet advice made him beloved by millions of Daily Mail readers and TV viewers.

Known for his open nature and effervescent personality, he achieved worldwide renown for popularising the5:2 diet and released a string of best-selling books.

Police first filed a missing person report for Dr Mosley at 10.30am on Thursday and by midday each of the emergency services in Greece had joined the search on the tiny island of Symi.

The medic was seen leaving Saint Nicholas beach towards the town of Pedi, via a rocky path with steep sections.

CCTV footage showed him passing a café in the town, northeast of the holiday island of Symi.

Police believed Dr Mosley was likely hiking towards the town of Symi, due west of Pedi, but took a wrong turn and ended up on a 'dangerous' mountain path heading north.

The coastguard scoured the sea as the fire brigade searched the remote island's forests and hills - with volunteers also assisting with the effort.

The diet guru's wife, Dr Clare Bailey (pictured together), a GP and also a columnist for the Mail, raised the alarm after her husband failed to return from a hike

A helicopter taking part in search operations for Dr Mosley

People known to Dr Mosley and fans of his work have taken to social media to share their heartbreak at the news

On Saturday, Dr Mosley's four children arrived on the island to join the searches.

Mosley's wife, Dr Clare Bailey, had been searching the island joined by her British friends.

Earlier, investigators had questioned restaurant owners and shopkeepers in the picturesque fishing village and examined CCTV footage.

Read More Missing Dr Michael Mosley may have 'collapsed from heat exhaustion', Greek mayor claims

Hopes were raised after a man matching his description and wearing the same clothes was spotted walking along the waterside at around 4.30pm on Wednesday with a woman.

Police and Dr Bailey rushed to the Katsaras restaurant to look at the footage and despite the amazing similarity it was ruled out after she said it was not her husband.

Dr Mosley and his wife landed on the 25-square-mile island on Tuesday and were due to stay for a week with a couple who have a house in Symi Town.

The two couples took a boat up the coast on Wednesday morning. They stopped at Saint Nicholas beach where the diet doctor, a father of four, went for a swim in the sea before deciding to walk the 2.2 miles back home at 1.30pm.

He had left his phone at their friends' home, and when Dr Bailey and the couple returned to the property, they found that Dr Mosley had not returned and his mobile was where he left it.

After the alarm was raised, a woman reported seeing Dr Mosley walking past a bus stop in Pedi, halfway between Saint Nicholas beach and Symi Town. There were also claims he was seen talking to someone.

Terrain near the pathway to St Nicholas Beach, where Dr Mosley set off hiking on Wednesday

Dr Mosley was on holiday with his wife in Symi (pictured) after they completed a nationwide tour together called: Eat (well), Sleep (better), Live (longer)

Symi mayor Lefteris Papakalodoukas said the area where the presenter went missing was considered 'difficult as it is quite rocky'.

'He came back from the beach, some people saw him but then his tracks were lost,' he said, adding that Dr Mosley 'wanted to walk back from the beach, but that's a distance of about an hour and a half and there are shortcuts he may have taken'.

Mr Papakalodoukas added: 'The British broadcaster has come for holiday with his wife and is being hosted by a couple of their friends on our island. We know he had gone for a swim... but because he likes hiking and the area, he (decided he) would walk back.

Read More How Dr Clare Bailey must endlessly replay her last goodbye to her husband, writes IAN GALLAGHER

'Some witnesses said he was seen returning to Pedi and talking to another person. All of these are testimonies that are being investigated at the moment.'

Mr Papakalodoukas told the local paper, Kathimerini, that the high temperatures on the island on Wednesday were 'unbearable' and that 'one could easily faint in such conditions'. An excessive heat warning was issued by the Greek meteorological service on the day Mr Mosley went missing.

Born in Calcutta, India, Dr Mosley attended boarding school in England before reading PPE at Oxford. He tried his hand at investment banking but retrained as a doctor before joining the BBC as an assistant trainee producer.

He married Clare Bailey in 1987, after meeting in medical school, and they had four children together.

Dr Mosley made a string of science and history documentaries over 25 years, rising to become a presenter and an executive producer at the corporation.

In his journalistic career he has worked alongside the likes of John Cleese, Jeremy Clarkson, Professor Robert Winston and Sir David Attenborough.

His career on screen was spent challenging stale ideas, bringing his talents of wit, gusto and lateral thinking to testing theories - often on himself.

His sense of adventure and unquenchable scientific curiosity sometimes led him to put himself in danger by accident, although - as yet -there is no way of knowing if this irrepressible side to his character contributed in any way to his disappearance.

Dr Mosley (pictured) and his wife landed on the 25-square-mile island on Tuesday and were due to stay for a week with a couple who have a house in Symi Town

Dr Mosleymarried Clare (pictured together) in 1987, after meeting in medical school, and they shared four children together

The Junk Food Experiment in 2019 was one of Dr Mosley's most interesting science TV projects

On one previous holiday, he ended up in hospital with total memory loss, thanks to a fascination with the health benefits of extreme cold. After interviewing the Dutch guru Wim Hof, who advocates immersing the body in ice-cold water, he decided to test the theory on himself.

At first he began turning the tap to 'cold' in his shower and enduring the blast for 40 seconds.

Then, after researching the science more deeply, he began to experiment with volunteers — testing the different pain thresholds of subjects by asking them to plunge their hands into ice buckets, for example.

Read More Inside the hunt for Mail health guru Dr Michael Mosley four days after disappearing on Greek island

As with all his research, he never asked anyone to attempt a trial that he had not done himself.

Then disaster struck. On a family holiday to Cornwall in 2021, he went out on a boat with his wife, Dr Clare Bailey — also a Daily Mail columnist — and decided to swim back to shore. The chilly Atlantic waters sent his nervous system into shock.

'I thought, I'm going to beat Clare back to shore,' he recalled last year. 'The next thing I know, I'm in casualty. Apparently I've swum back, Clare has caught up, but I was looking really vacant and I clearly had no idea who she is or who I am or where I am. Though I kept on repeating: 'I have a wife and four children.'

'I got a thorough examination and the consultant said: 'You have something called transient global amnesia, which is relatively rare — but it's brought on by swimming in cold water.'

'It's caused by a change in blood pressure and blood flow to the brain. My memory banks were entirely wiped for about two or three hours and then gradually came back.'

Despite this, he continued to experiment with ice-cold showers.

Dr Mosley is perhaps best known for promoting the 5:2 theory — the radical idea that, by fasting on two days a week, it was possible to eat normally on the other five (and even indulge in sugary, fatty treats) and lose weight in dramatic style.

Forced into starvation mode, the body starts burning its own fat to survive — so that excess calories pass through the system instead of turning to flab.

Though initially greeted by most nutritionists with scepticism, who dismissed the diet as too good to be true, the method proved spectacularly successful for Dr Mosley himself.

His book The Fast Diet, co-written with journalist Mimi Spencer and published in 2012, recommended a stringent regime on two days a week, with just 600 calories for men and 500 for women.

Dr Mosley was well known for his health advice, particularly on fasting, diet and sleep

Celebrities who adopted it reported astonishing results. The US comedian Jimmy Kimmel shed 25 lb (nearly 2 st) in a few months. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch used the method to achieve his hollow-cheeked look for the BBC1 drama Sherlock.

Dr Mosley first decided to investigate the diet after a blood test revealed he was in the early stages of type 2 diabetes.

'That was a nasty shock,' he said, 'because my overweight dad had developed diabetes in his 50s and died of diabetes-related illnesses at the relatively young age of 74. I didn't want to go down the same path.

Read More Social media users shocked after body is found in hunt for Dr Michael Mosley

'So I set out to find out if there was a drug-free way to 'cure' my diabetes. Periodic fasting sounded so interesting that I persuaded the BBC to let me make a science documentary with myself as the guinea pig. It was called Eat, Fast And Live Longer.'

The programme, shown as part of BBC2's documentary series Horizon, featured interviews with experts such as Professor Valter Longo from the University of Southern California and Dr Krista Varady from the University of Illinois.

That became the template for a series of shows, bolstered by the remarkable personal success of his 5:2 diet — he lost 20 lb and his blood sugar levels fell to normal, safe levels.

'This was revolutionary stuff,' he said, 'as most doctors believe type 2 diabetes is incurable and that the only way to treat it is with drugs.'

His results were so dramatic that the NHS website, which had initially dismissed 5:2 as a 'fad diet', added it to its 'Top Diets review', and said: 'Sticking to a regimen for two days a week can be more achievable than seven days, so you may be more likely to persevere and lose weight.'

Dr Mosley became an evangelist for the method, promoting it in this newspaper.

Dr Mosley with his wife Clare on their wedding day in 1987 nearly 40 years ago

Further research revealed what made the regime so effective, he said. 'The main reason I managed to knock my diabetes on the head was that I had lost a lot of weight, fast. Professor Roy Taylor, a diabetes specialist at Newcastle University, has done studies showing that if you lose over 10 per cent of your body weight (which I had), the fat is drained from your liver and pancreas, and your body is restored to its former health.'

He refined the diet, raising the calorie limit to 800 on fast days, and urging people to go 14 hours a day without eating — having an evening meal at 6 pm, for example, and then fasting until breakfast at 8 am. For those who needed a crash diet, he recommended 800 calories every day for weeks or even months.

All this flew in the face of traditional advice, which was based on cutting out fats and carbohydrates, and restricting calorie intake without actually fasting.

Known for his open nature, Dr Mosley did not shy away from discussing the worst threat to his health — chronic insomnia, caused by stress as well as a genetic predisposition. 'I suffer from catastrophic thinking,' he told the Mail five years ago.

'I used to worry about the children when they were younger. Now that they have all turned out OK, I worry about my work — did I say the wrong thing on a chat show, write the wrong thing in a book? What if someone loses too much weight and makes themselves ill? My work is utterly rooted in science, but people are people and they can do crazy things.'

Insomnia became such a burden that he published a book, 4 Weeks To Better Sleep, detailing all the systems he had tried. His conclusion was that what mattered most was not how many hours we spend in bed, but the quality of the sleep itself — what he called 'your sleep efficiency'.

Long hours of wakefulness and a natural inclination to philosophy forced him to confront life's toughest questions.

Dr Mosley (top, right) with his parents and brother in Hong Kong in 1962 posing together

He sometimes talked to journalists with characteristic insouciance about death: 'I would like to die surfing or sky‑diving. I wouldn't mind falling off my bike and going under a bus either, something short and sharp — with apologies to the driver.

'Would I ever kill myself? I would not rule it out. I can imagine things going badly wrong, a catastrophic illness, a stroke, a cancer. I would not want to be a burden but it would utterly depend on Clare. It's a decision I would take with her.'

Dr Mosley's enthusiasm was legendary. One friend said: 'Michael never stops talking. He's like a podcast on legs.'

Filming a segment on the physiology of fear for one among his dozens of shows, he defied his claustrophobia by going caving — and became wedged in a crack in the rocks.

'I absolutely freaked,' he admitted. 'It obviously made good television because there was a lot of screaming.'

After that, though, he felt uncomfortable even in lifts and planes, and was unable to go through with an MRI brain examination inside a coffin-like scanner.

For a documentary called The Wonderful World Of Blood, he made and ate a black pudding using his own red corpuscles.

'I don't think it will take off as a national dish,' he announced, 'but it's pretty nutritious — rich in iron, protein and vitamin C.'

Despite his self-proclaimed 'squareness', he ingested psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, in a laboratory-controlled test to discover its effect on the brain — 'Like going into hyperdrive on Star Trek,' he concluded.

All these programmes were sideshows, however, compared to the great project of his career, the fasting diet.

'I'm 100 per cent evangelical about this,' he often declared. 'One of the big medical myths is that a fast diet won't work. But all the evidence now is that rapid weight loss is effective. People are very interested in this stuff. They know it can alter the trajectory of their life.'

Countless fans have had their lives transformed by his enthusiasm, his free-thinking and eccentric readiness to take risks. Meeting them was one of the great pleasures of his life, he said.

'I love chatting. People often stop me in the street, and I really enjoy finding out what's going on with them. It's a fantastic feeling when people tell you that you have helped to turn their lives around.'

Dr Michael Mosley's children were just 350ft away from place of body (2024)
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