Search resumes for missing presenter Michael Mosley

7 Jun 2024

By Joe Inwood and Nikos Papanikolaou for BBC

The picture of Dr Michael Mosley posted on Facebook with an appeal for information after he went missing while walking on holiday in Greece. Photo: Facebook

Michael Mosley - Figure 1
Photo RNZ

The search for British broadcaster Michael Mosley has resumed after he went missing while on holiday on the Greek island of Symi.

Known for his TV programmes and his Just One Thing podcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the presenter was last seen on Wednesday.

He had set off on a walk to the centre of the island.

Local police paused the operation late on Thursday, but continued on Friday morning with reinforcements.

The search party currently consists of 25 people including police officers, volunteers and firefighters.

A helicopter was deployed from the Greek capital Athens at about 7pm local time as part of the search and is in use Friday morning.

The operation is also being assisted by drones searching areas that are hard to reach, as well as police dogs.

Greek police said Mosley left his wife Clare on the beach before setting off on a walk to the centre of the island on Wednesday.

His phone was found in the place where he was staying with his wife, who reported him missing, a police spokesperson told BBC News.

The 67-year-old broadcaster is well known for BBC programmes which also include the series Trust Me, I'm A Doctor and The One Show, as well as ITV's This Morning.

Who is Michael Mosley?

After officers on the island were unable to find Mosley, they requested help from the Greek fire department in Athens. Firefighters arrived in Symi from nearby Rhodes at 2pm on Thursday.

Officers were also searching CCTV footage for any sign of Mosley.

The rescue operation was focusing on the Pedi area of Symi after a woman said she had seen him there on Wednesday, the island's deputy mayor, Ilias Chaskas, told BBC News.

He said the area was considered dangerous but noted the woman had seen Mosley on the road in a safer part of Pedi.

The island's mayor, Eleftherios Papakalodoukas, said firefighters carrying out the search had told him they believed it was "impossible" Mosley was still there.

"It is a very small, controlled area, full of people so if something happened to him there, we would have found him by now," he told BBC News.

Papakalodoukas said he believed it was likely Mosley had either "followed another path" or had fallen into the sea.

An appeal saying he was missing was posted on a local Facebook group on Wednesday, alongside a picture of Mosley wearing a blue cap, polo shirt and shorts.

"Have you seen this man? He set off to walk back from [Agios Nikolaos beach] at about 13:30 and failed to make it home," it said.

It was extremely hot in Symi on Wednesday, with the National Observatory of Athens reporting temperatures of more than 40C at 3pm.

Symi is part of Greece's Dodecanese island group and sits about 12 miles (19km) north-west of Rhodes. In the 2021 census it had a population of approximately 2,600 people.

The majority of its beaches are remote and people are advised to take boats to visit them.

The area surrounding the Agios Nikolaos beach is extremely rocky and difficult to hike.

Local residents have said they are trying to understand why someone would leave there on foot and go on a hike - without their phone to navigate - in such challenging conditions, rather than taking the boat back.

With temperatures forecast to reach as high as 48C on Friday, an extreme heat warning has been issued on Symi.

The combination of the sweltering weather and rugged terrain will make the task for those searching for Mosley even more challenging.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: "We are supporting the family of a British man who is missing in Greece and are in contact with the local authorities."

Mosley studied medicine in London and qualified as a doctor but for the last couple of decades has been working as a presenter, documentary maker, journalist and author.

He writes a column for the Daily Mail and his TV programmes also include Channel 4 show Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat?

Mosley has been an advocate for intermittent fasting diets, including the 5:2 diet and The Fast 800 diet.

He has four children with his wife Clare Bailey Mosley, who is also a doctor, author and healthy living advocate.

The couple recently appeared at the Hay Festival where Mosley presented a special edition of Just One Thing.

Reacting to the "shocking news", his fellow Trust Me, I'm A Doctor co-star Dr Saleyha Ahsan said she was "praying he is found safe" and she feels "sick with worry".

On Thursday's edition of The One Show, presenter Alex Jones opened the programme by expressing concern that "our friend" had gone missing.

"Our thoughts are very much with his wife Clare and the rest of his family at this worrying time. We hope for more positive news," she added.

- This story was first published by BBC.

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