Body of Michael Mosley found 80ft from where volunteers had searched

Police at the scene near Agia Marina, Symi, where Michael Mosley's body was found
Police at the scene near Agia Marina, Symi, where Michael Mosley's body was found - Jeff Gilbert

The body of Michael Mosley, the television doctor, was found barely 80ft from where volunteers, thought to have included his children, had attempted to retrace his suspected route on the Greek island of Symi.

Dr Mosley’s four adult children, Alex, Jack, Dan and Kate, had flown to the island of Symi to join the search and support their mother, Clare Bailey Mosley. They flew to Rhodes before boarding a ferry to Symi on Friday evening.

Manolis Tsiboukas, the co-ordinator of civil alert in Greece, said on Saturday he had spoken to them and they had been in touch with volunteers and police and wanted to join the search.

Dr Mosley’s children are believed to have joined the rescue effort on Saturday morning, combing the rocky paths around Agia Marina.

By then, the search had shifted from the coastal village of Pedi and expanded into the Vroulias mountains, on the north coast of the island, after Dr Mosley was captured on CCTV appearing to embark upon a treacherous mountainous path heading out of Pedi in the wrong direction.

As Dr Bailey Mosley remained in close contact with the authorities and ensured that she was on hand to view potential sightings on CCTV, at least two of the children were understood to have set off on foot as part of a larger group.

The search effort took them to the rocky path that circumvents a popular beach bar at Agia Marina.

A chain-link fence separates the bar from an area known as The Abyss, a water-filled “bottomless” cave and network of tunnels that for a time was the focus of the search.

At around 10.30am local time on Sunday, Dr Mosley’s body was found in the shade of a wall, not far from the fence and barely 80ft from where the search group was thought to have walked.

In a statement released several hours later, Dr Bailey Mosley, a GP and cookery writer, described the search for her missing husband as “the longest and most unbearable days for myself and my children”.

She said: “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.

“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.”

The confirmation that Dr Mosley had died triggered a wave of tributes. Mimi Spencer, who co-authored The Fast Diet with him, told BBC Radio 4: “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.

“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.”

Brian Cox, the physicist and television presenter, described Dr Mosley as a “genuinely lovely man” who had helped him when he started his television career.

“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 said.

Anna Bond, the managing director of Octopus Publishing Group, which published books by Dr Mosley and his wife, said she was devastated by the news, adding: “A brilliant, warm, funny and kind man, Michael will be so greatly missed.”

Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef, praised the work Dr Mosley had done, writing 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.”

Dr Saleyha Ahsan, a co-presenter on the BBC series Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, described him as a “hugely talented” man and a “national treasure”.

Charlotte Moore, the chief content officer of the BBC, said Dr Mosley would be “hugely missed” by those who worked with him. This Morning said its staff were “heartbroken” to learn that Dr Mosley, a regular contributor to the ITV programme, had died.