Greek authorities have confirmed that the body of a man believed to be the missing British TV presenter Michael Mosley has been found on the island of Symi.

Mosley, 67, went missing after going for a coastal walk on the island.

“He has been found in the area of Ayia Marina,” the island’s deputy mayor, Nikitas Grillas, told the Guardian. “I can confirm that it is him.”

On the fifth day of what had become an increasingly frantic search, Mosley, 67, was reportedly discovered by a camera operator working with the state broadcaster ERT.

The body was discovered on rocky terrain close to a fence about 50 metres from a small resort which is accessible only by boat or by foot, on the opposite side of the bay where he had left his wife and friends earlier in the day. It is understood that the baseball cap he was wearing, and an umbrella he had been carrying to protect himself from the sun were found with him.

“It is clear from his watch and clothes that it is Dr Mosley,” a police spokesperson, Konstantina Dimoglou, said. It was unclear how long he had been dead. “We don’t know that yet but what we do know is that he had walked a very long way, he was very close to his destination.”

A news camera crew said they had spotted the body lying on rocky terrain from a boat in the bay of Ayia Marina, having zoomed in on an image they had captured.

“We located him [from a boat] when we went into the bay of Ayia Marina,” said the ERT journalist Aristides Miaoulis, who described how when the team’s camera operator looked back at his footage he noticed “something strange”.

“Looking back at the material he had got, he saw something strange near a fence, about 50 metres from the sea, and then we could see, once we zoomed in, that it was this man because his watch was glinting [in the sun].”

The island’s mayor, who was with the media team, said previously 200 people had searched the site and, yet, he had not been found. The Hellenic coastguard was immediately called to the area, and it was taped off.

A drone photo showing a beach resort and the sea.
A drone view of the area where the body was found. Photograph: Panormitis Chatzigiannakis/Reuters

The discovery was made on the day search teams had turned their focus to a set of caves belonging to a rocky outcrop close to Ayia Marina beach. Images, which had been intentionally blurred, showed the remains were found on rocky land by a chain link fence close to the beach resort.

The father of four is thought to have been hiking from St Nikolas beach to the port of Symi Town where his holiday villa is located.

Extreme weather warnings have been in place this week in Symi, where temperatures have reached above 40C (104F) in the afternoon.

The discovery of the body came amid a massive air, land and sea operation to find the TV presenter and health guru, who popularised intermittent fasting and designed the 5:2 diet.

Mosley set off hiking from St Nikolas beach at 1.30pm local time on Wednesday, bound for the port town of Symi when he vanished outside the seaside village of Pedi.

His wife, Dr Clare Bailey, raised the alarm after he failed to return by 7.30pm. A search and rescue operation was launched to locate Mosley, who is best known for his appearances on The One Show and This Morning. Bailey was later joined by the couple’s adult children on the island.

The search included police, firefighters, specially trained dogs and volunteers.

Mosley, a columnist for the Daily Mail, made a number of documentaries about diet and exercise, including the Channel 4 show Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? He was also part of the BBC series Trust Me, I’m a Doctor.

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

Mosley was also credited for the rising popularity of the 5:2 diet, which involves fasting for two days a week to lose weight. He was named Medical Journalist of the year by the British Medical Association in 1995.


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