Major search for TV doctor Michael Mosley following disappearance in Greece

A major search-and-rescue operation is under way on the Greek island of Symi for TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley after he went missing while on holiday.

Police and firefighters are using drones to scour the island, which is part of the Dodecanese island chain and is about 25 miles north of Rhodes.

A helicopter was also deployed to assist the search at around 7pm local time (5pm BST) on Thursday.

Mosley, known for his appearances on The One Show and This Morning, and for fronting a number of documentaries, is reported to have vanished after setting off on a walk to the centre of the island on Wednesday.

A statement from local police, which has been translated, said officers were informed about the “disappearance of the 67-year-old British national on the island” on Wednesday.

Police then asked for assistance from the Greek fire service, with six firefighters, a vehicle and a drone team arriving from Rhodes at about 2pm (12pm BST) on Thursday.

The rescue operation is said to be focusing on the Pedi area of the island after a woman reported seeing him there on Wednesday.

Mayor of Symi Eleftherios Papakalodoukas said firefighters had told him they believed it was “impossible” Mr Mosley was still there.

He told the BBC: “It is a very small, controlled area, full of people. So, if something happened to him there, we would have found him by now.”

A woman who gave her name only as Irini, and who works at Kamares coffee shop on Pedi Beach, told the PA news agency: “They came, the police, with the coast police and firemen, and the rescue team, to carry out the investigation, but I don’t think that anything has been found yet.”

Another woman in the area said Mosley’s disappearance was “strange” as the path he was thought to be on is “clear”.

She said: “It’s a quiet place … if you see the map of the area it’s a clear path, it’s nothing dangerous, many people go every day, every few minutes, that’s the reason it’s very strange because it’s a clear path.”

Michael Mosley graphic
(PA Graphics)

A friend of the person Mosley was staying with said she was struggling to understand how anyone could get lost on the part of the island he was believed to be on.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Drive programme, she said: “It’s a road that sort of heads over the mountain side but it’s been recently widened and there is only one route, so it’s not possible to lose your way.

“So, it is probably a 20-minute walk down the side of the mountain, but it’s not overly rugged or something that would be seen to be too dangerous, it’s something that tourists do every day in the summer.

“I’m having trouble understanding how you could get lost.”

A local Facebook group said Mosley went for a walk from Saint Nikolas Beach at about 1.30pm Greek time on Wednesday.

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

Mosley is known for being a columnist for the Daily Mail and has made a number of films about diet and exercise.

The broadcaster fronted the Channel 4 show Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? and was part of the BBC series Trust Me, I’m A Doctor.

Inside the Human Body
TV doctor Michael Mosley is known for his appearances on The One Show and This Morning (BBC/PA)

He also lived with tapeworms in his gut for six weeks for the documentary Infested! Living With Parasites on BBC Four.

Mosley received an Emmy nod for BBC science documentary The Human Face, presented by John Cleese and featuring a raft of human faces, including Elizabeth Hurley, Pierce Brosnan and Sir David Attenborough.

He also advocated intermittent fasting through the 5:2 diet and The Fast 800 diet.

Trust Me I’m A Doctor star Saleyha Ahsan wrote on social media that the news was “shocking” and that she was hoping Mosley would be “found safe”.

“I literally feel sick with worry,” Ahsan added. “Don’t even know what to say.”

Radio 2 presenter and Channel 5 talk show host Jeremy Vine wrote in a social media post: “I’m praying this lovely man is found and thinking of Claire and the whole Mosley family.”

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis wrote on X: “Feeling disturbed about the news about Dr Michael Mosley. I hope he’s ok.”

Mosley has four children with his wife Clare Bailey Mosley, also a doctor, author and health columnist, who wrote the recipe book Fast 800 Easy.

The couple, who have hosted theatre show tours together, recently attended the Hay Festival, where Mosley presented a special edition of his Radio 4 series and podcast Just One Thing.