Michael Mosley search latest: Wife says family 'will not lose hope' following TV doctor's disappearance

Michael Mosley's wife has said his family "will not lose hope" as the search for the missing British TV doctor moves to a treacherous mountainous area on a Greek Island.

Emergency workers have been trying to locate the 67-year-old TV personality in Symi after he disappeared during a walk to the centre of the island on Wednesday.

Dr Claire Bailey Mosley said the three days he has been missing have been the “longest and most unbearable days” for her and her children.

Mosley’s four children have joined their mother on Symi to help with the search efforts.

In her statement, Dr Bailey Mosley said: “It has been three days since Michael left the beach to go for a walk. The longest and most unbearable days for myself and my children.

“The search is ongoing and our family are so incredibly grateful to the people of Symi, the Greek authorities and the British Consulate who are working tirelessly to help find Michael.

“We will not lose hope”

A police issued CCTV image of missing TV doctor Michael Mosley (Mega)
A police issued CCTV image of missing TV doctor Michael Mosley (Mega)

It came as the mayor of Symi said many troubling questions remain about Dr Mosley’s disappearance.

Eleftherios Papakaloudoukas, the island’s longstanding mayor, said: “We know he came through Pedi and then walked onwards towards Agia Marina, it is about two miles and a harder walk than from St Nicholas, If he did try and walk that way to Symi then that is a big mistake.

“There are also many troubling questions here. Why did he leave the beach and his wife and friends? Why did he not take his telephone? From the CCTV footage it’s also clear he didn’t stop for a drink in Pedi or take a rest.”

Speaking through a translator, Mr Papakaloudoukas, the mayor of 22 years, also questioned how anyone could survive in the heat, which topped 40C on the day Dr Mosley disappeared.

He added that a search dog could only work for an hour on Saturday morning due to the high temperatures.

He said the area where Dr Mosley is believed to have travelled through is “difficult to pass” and is “only rocks”. It is also populated by “loads” of snakes, he said.

Meanwhile, new CCTV appears to show Mosley walking unimpeded with an umbrella near to the marina in the village of Pedi in Symi.

Previous footage from a house at the edge of Pedi's small marina showed the presenter walking towards a mountainous path at about 2pm local time on Wednesday.

So far, the best lead has come from CCTV images which appear to show him less than half an hour after he left his wife at a beach on a Greek holiday island.

Dr Mosley, 67, disappeared on Wednesday after reportedly setting off on a walk to the centre of Symi, which is part of the Dodecanese island chain and is about 25 miles north of Rhodes.

Police feared he may have "fallen from a height" while walking along a rocky path that would have taken him from St Nicholas beach back to the village of Pedi.

But CCTV has emerged that is said to show the doctor strolling down a street in the village, shielded from the sun by an umbrella, indicating he crossed the dangerous path from the beach and made it back to the village.

Mr Papakaloudoukas hoped Dr Mosley is found “safe and alive” and said “all the community is so sad about this, (it has) never happened before”.

The mayor’s 20-year-old daughter Mika Papakalodouka said: “It not dangerous at all, but we have 40C outside so it’s easy to get dizzy.

“It is a small island, people talk. We’re good people actually here. Everybody is looking for him.

“It’s such a small island to get lost on. It’s so weird for us. Everybody is worried and looking for him.”

The Mayor of Symi, Eleftherios Papakaloudoukas, in Pedi (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
The Mayor of Symi, Eleftherios Papakaloudoukas, in Pedi (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

The CCTV images were captured by a restaurant and time stamped at 1.52pm around 20 minutes after he was said to have left his wife Claire and a couple they were holidaying with on the island.

He was said to be heading back to the town where they were staying, with Pedi around a quarter of the way through the journey.

Officials are now said to have excluded the possibility Mr Mosley came to harm while walking between the beach and Pedi.

Local news outlet Ta Nea reported Mosley does not have his mobile phone with him.

It is a very small, controlled area, full of people. So, if something happened to him there, we would have found him by now

Eleftherios Papakalodoukas, mayor of Symi

Mosley, known for popularising the 5:2 diet and for his appearances on The One Show and This Morning. His wife reportedly raised the alarm on Wednesday evening after returning to their accommodation to find he wasn’t there.

The area where he went missing is experiencing extremely hot temperatures, forecast to reach highs of 36C on Friday, according to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service.

A yellow warning for high temperatures is in place in Rhodes and surrounding islands including Symi.

The spokesperson also confirmed Greek police are using sniffer dogs in the search.

A view of Pedi, a smalll fishing village in Symi, Greece (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
A view of Pedi, a smalll fishing village in Symi, Greece (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

A senior security official involved in the search operation told the Guardian: “It’s crazy, it makes no sense. How can somebody just disappear in broad daylight, in the middle of the day?

“If something had happened to him we would have found him on, or near, the path he was walking along on his way back to the port where he was staying with friends. And, yet, all these hours later there’s nothing.”

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 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.

I’m praying this lovely man is found and thinking of Claire and the whole Mosley family

Jeremy Vine on social media

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.”

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.

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 famous faces, including Elizabeth Hurley, Pierce Brosnan and Sir David Attenborough.

Michael Mosley is married to Clare Bailey Mosley, who is also a doctor (Instagram / @drclarebailey)
Michael Mosley is married to Clare Bailey Mosley, who is also a doctor (Instagram / @drclarebailey)

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.