Michael Mosley ‘did incredible things for medicine and for public health’

The TV doctor has been praised after his death at the age of 67.

Michael Mosley went missing on Symy
Michael Mosley went missing on Symy (Alamy Stock Photo)

Michael Mosley “did incredible things for medicine, and for public health, in a way that few others have”, according to his Trust Me I’m A Doctor co-star Dr Saleyha Ahsan.

The doctor said she would remember Mosley as “a mentor and a friend”, as she paid tribute to him after his body was found on Sunday in a rocky area near Agia Marina beach on the Greek island of Symi.

Dr Ahsan told BBC Breakfast: “The way that I got to know him on screen, that really personable accessible character that he comes across on television, that’s exactly how he was in real life and how he was with me.

“He instantly put me at ease, settled me down, and we got on with the job. And I forgot about the cameras and the lights, we just had a really good conversation.”

Mosley, 67, went missing after leaving his wife and friends at Agios Nikolaos beach on Wednesday, and footage reportedly found by a beach bar at Agia Marina shows what appears to be the TV doctor making his way down a rocky slope close to a fence before he falls out of view.

Dr Ahsan said: “He just had this ability to break down the complex and make it accessible to all.

“Science can be full of jargon, journal papers that are very dense to read, almost unreadable sometimes. But he was able to get the main point, the main messages, out of those papers, and bring them into the public domain so we could all benefit from that research.

“And I think the other thing that I’ve been thinking about is trust, he had this ability to make us trust him.

“It was through all sorts of means, it was through testing things out on himself first, he tried it out, he road-tested it, once he’d road-tested it, he took us on the journey with him and then he shared the results.

“And then it was up to us if we wanted to continue on that journey with him and many people did. He did incredible things for medicine, and for public health, in a way that I think few others have.”

Dr Ahsan also praised his ability to share information without being heavy handed.

She said: “It’s just the epitome of what you would aspire to be as a doctor, to be able to bring knowledge and information to your patient’s bedside, or wherever you see them, to bring knowledge and information that will help the person in front of you to make positive changes in their life, but without being forced to do so, without it being forced down your neck.

“Michael invited you, there was an invitation that was offered to you to see a different way of adjusting your lifestyle. It was gentle. Nothing was thrust upon people.”

The former deputy leader of the Labour Party, Lord Watson, has said he was one of the people who benefited from this method.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “He certainly changed my life. He gave me the idea that I wasn’t broken.

Lord Watson
Lord Watson (Victoria Jones/PA)

“I remember the moment I first read his book, I read it on a Kindle on holiday in Spain.

“And it was this notion that you can, in some way, reverse or put type-2 diabetes into remission with lifestyle changes and nutritional change.

“It was like a light came on in my life and I just became a real fan of his work and, over the years, he’s helped me maintain that and help millions of others.

“And that’s what great journalism is, he explained very complex ideas of science in a very simple way.”

He added: “I met him and it was honestly like meeting a hero, he was a hero to me and I don’t underestimate that.

“And when you listen to him, it’s just that gentle, authoritative, non-judgmental voice.

“And he had this notion of Aristotelian wisdom, where small changes in our daily lives created habits that had a big incremental impact, cumulative impact, on our lives.”

A direction sign on a rocky path in the hills of Pedi.
A direction sign on a rocky path in the hills of Pedi. (Yui Mok/PA)

Calypso Haggett, chief executive of The Fast 800 weight-loss programme, an intermittent fasting diet that Mosley popularised, said he was a “shining light for the whole team” and his “incredible legacy” will “energise a continuous movement for better health”.

The statement from the late broadcaster’s business partner also said: “He and his work motivated us every day and we remain so inspired by his energy, passion, humour, knowledge and kindness.

“He was a great communicator and had a unique ability to convey complex messages in a simple, easy-to-understand way that encouraged many people to make positive changes in their lives. I know this is how he will be remembered.

“I had the great privilege of knowing Michael both professionally and personally. He really, truly was one of a kind and will be terribly missed by everyone.”