Michael Mosley (broadcaster)

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Michael Mosley
Born (1957-03-22) 22 March 1957 (age 67)
Calcutta, India
Alma materNew College, Oxford
Occupation(s)Television journalist, producer, and presenter
Height180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Clare Bailey
(m. 1987)

Michael Mosley (born 22 March 1957) is a British television journalist, producer and presenter who has worked for the BBC since 1985. He is probably best known as a presenter of television programmes on biology and medicine and his regular appearances on The One Show. Mosley is an intermittent fasting and low-carbohydrate diet advocate who has written books promoting the ketogenic diet.

Early life[edit]

Mosley was born in Calcutta, India.[1] His father was a banker and his maternal grandfather an Anglican bishop. Mosley attended a boarding school in England from the age of seven.[2] He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at New College, Oxford, before working for two years as a banker in the City of London. He then decided to move into medicine, intending to become a psychiatrist, studying at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School, now part of UCL Medical School.[3]


Upon graduation from medical school, and having become disillusioned by psychiatry, Mosley joined a trainee assistant producer scheme at the BBC in 1985.[3]

He produced a number of science programmes, including The Human Face, three series with Professor Robert Winston, and the 2004 BBC Two engineering series Inventions That Changed the World hosted by Jeremy Clarkson.[4] He presented Blood and Guts, Medical Mavericks and The Story of Science for television, and was the subject of a television documentary, 10 Things You Need to Know about Losing Weight. He presented Make Me for BBC One. In April–June 2010 he produced and presented the television series The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion broadcast by BBC Two.

In 2011 he made a series entitled The Brain: A Secret History, on the history of psychology and neuroscience. During the series, while describing the methods that are being employed to identify the anomalies in brain structure associated with psychopathy, his personal test results revealed he himself had these candidate brain characteristics.[citation needed] In the same year, he made a two-part documentary, Frontline Medicine with episodes called "Survival" and "Rebuilding Lives". These programmes described the medical advances in the treatment of military personnel during the 10 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and examined how these new techniques are being used in emergency medicine in civilian casualties in the United States and Great Britain.

His documentary The Truth About Exercise, shown first in 2012, aired current thinking about how different patterns of exercise might help achieve health benefits, the danger of sitting for prolonged periods and revealed how certain genotypes are unable to gain significant improvements in aerobic fitness (VO2 max) by following endurance exercise programmes. His own genetic type can gain many of the benefits of exercise, primarily improved insulin response, through short, high-intensity training sessions as suggested by the research of Professor James Timmons.[5]

In January 2013, he presented The Genius of Invention. In the documentary named The Truth About Personality,[6] first aired on 10 July 2013, Mosley explores what science can tell us about optimism and pessimism and whether we can change our outlook.[7][8]

Mosley, along with a group of medical specialists, presented a documentary series titled The Diagnostic Detectives which aired in 2020. In the series, each programme is centred around the group of doctors who choose to tackle a patient's problem.[citation needed][9] [10] In 2021, Mosley presented a three-part series, Lose a Stone in 21 Days for Channel 4. On the programme Mosley asserted that people can lose a stone in 21 days by calorie restriction to only 800 calories a day. This advice is considered dangerous by medical experts and the programme received a backlash on social media platforms.[11] Beat, a UK charity supporting those affected by eating disorders, stated that "the programme caused enough stress and anxiety to our beneficiaries that we extended our Helpline hours to support anyone affected and received 51% more contact during that time".[12]

Intermittent fasting and low-carbohydrate diet advocacy[edit]

Mosley promotes intermittent fasting and is a low-carbohydrate diet advocate.[13]

5:2 diet[edit]

Mosley is credited with popularising a form of intermittent fasting called the 5:2 diet though an episode of the BBC documentary series, Horizon called, Eat, Fast and Live Longer.[14] It was through this documentary that he learned about the 5:2 from scientist Mark Mattson who published a paper on the 5:2 with Michelle Harvie and 14 other scientists in 2011.[15][16][17] In the original trials, the 5:2 does not follow a particular food pattern, but instead focuses entirely on calorie content.[18] It became very popular in the UK and Australia. [19] [20][21][22]

In early 2013 Mosley published The Fast Diet with Mimi Spencer.[23][24]

The Fast 800 diet[edit]

Currently, Mosley advocates The Fast 800 Diet, a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet with intermittent fasting that follows a daily 800-calorie eating plan.[21] His book The Fast 800 Keto combines a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting.[25]

Mosley's The Fast 800 Keto advises a three-stage diet plan for weight loss: stage 1, a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet; stage 2, a reintroduction of carbohydrates with intermittent fasting; stage 3, a low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet.[26] Mosley has stated that a downside to the ketogenic diet is that it is restrictive so his Fast 800 Keto solves this problem by gradually allowing carbohydrates back into the diet for a long-term low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet.[26]

Red Pen Reviews noted that Mosley's book The Fast 800 Keto "scored weakly for scientific accuracy" but concluded that the diet "should cause weight loss and improve health in most people who have extra weight and/or type 2 diabetes, but some aspects of the diet may be unnecessary and make it harder to follow". The review also noted that Mosley's Fast 800 Keto is not a long-term ketogenic diet and the insistence on a low-carbohydrate intake for the long-term Mediterranean diet is not necessary.[26]


Year Title Channel Notes
2007 Medical Mavericks BBC Four
2008 Blood and Guts BBC Two
2009 Make Me BBC One
2010 The Brain - A Secret History BBC Four
The Story of Science: Power, Proof and Passion BBC Two Six-part series.
Pleasure and Pain BBC One
The Young Ones BBC One
2011 Frontline Medicine BBC Two [27][28][29][30][31]
Ten Things about Weight Loss BBC One
Inside the Human Body BBC One Four-part series and a Best of Series episode.
2012 Guts: The Strange and Mysterious World of the Human Stomach BBC Four Also referred to as Inside Michael Mosley.
Eat, Fast and Live longer BBC Two
Truth about Exercise BBC Two
2013 One Show BBC One Topical films about science.
Horizon Specials BBC Two
The Truth About... BBC Two
Pain, Pus and Poison: The Search for Modern Medicines BBC Four Three-part series.
Winter Viruses and How to Beat Them BBC Two Co presented with Alice Roberts.
The Genius of Invention BBC Two Four-part series between 24 January and 14 February. Co-presented with Mark Miodownik and Cassie Newland.
The Truth About Personality BBC Two A Horizon (BBC TV series) documentary.
2013–present Trust Me, I'm a Doctor BBC Two
2014 Infested! Living with Parasites BBC Four
Should I Eat Meat? BBC Two Total of two episodes as a part of Horizon 2014–2015 series.
2015 Is your Brain Male or Female BBC Two Episode 7 of Horizon 2014–2015 series.
Countdown to Life: the Extraordinary Making of You BBC Two Three-part series.
Are Health Tests Really a Good Idea? BBC Two
2016 E-Cigarettes: Miracle or Menace? BBC Two
Inside Porton Down: Britain's Secret Weapons Research Facility BBC Four
2017 Meet the Humans BBC Earth Five-part series.[32][33]
2021 21 Day Body Turnaround with Michael Mosley Channel 4 Three-part series.[34][35]
Lose a Stone in 21 Days with Michael Mosley Channel 4 Three-part series.
Horizon: How To Sleep Well BBC Two Upcoming programme[36]
Australia's Health Revolution SBS Three-part series tackling type 2 diabetes in Australia.[37]
2022 Michael Mosley: Who Made Britain Fat? Channel 4 Two-part series.[38]
2024 Michael Mosley: Secrets Of Your Big Shop Channel 4 Four-part series.[39]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 1994, Ulcer Wars,[40][41][42][43][44][45] his 16 May 1994 Horizon documentary, reported the link between Helicobacter pylori and gastric ulcers, discovered by Australian scientists Robin Warren and Barry Marshall. He was named Medical Journalist of the Year in 1995 by the British Medical Association.[3] In 1996, the programme was noted as one of the most important factors to influence British general practitioners' prescribing habits.[46][47]

In 2002, Mosley was nominated for an Emmy[48] as an Executive Producer for The Human Face with John Cleese.

Personal life[edit]

Mosley is married to Clare Bailey, a GP; they have four children.[24][49] In a BBC documentary on sleep, Mosley revealed he has chronic insomnia.[50] He published Fast Asleep in 2019.[24]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Mosley, Michael; Spencer, Mimi (2013). The Fast Diet : The Secret of Intermittent Fasting - Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer. London: Short Books. ISBN 9781780721675.
  • Mosley, Michael; Bee, Peta (2013). Fast exercise : the smart route to health & fitness. London: Short Books. ISBN 9781780721989. OCLC 862761007.
  • Mosley, Michael; Spencer, Mimi (2015). The FastLife : lose weight, stay healthy, and live longer with the simple secrets of intermittent fasting and high-intensity training. New York: Atria Books. ISBN 9781501127984. OCLC 922597339.
  • Mosley, Michael (2016). The 8-week blood sugar diet : how to beat diabetes fast (and stay off medication) (First ed.). New York: Atria Books. ISBN 9781501111242. OCLC 946536100.
  • Mosley, Michael (2017). The Clever Gut diet (First ed.). New York: Atria Books. ISBN 9781501172748. OCLC 1090297589.
  • Mosley, Michael (2019). The Fast 800 diet: discover the ideal fasting formula to shed pounds, fight disease, and boost your overall health (First ed.). New York: Atria Books. ISBN 978-1-9821-0689-8. OCLC 1127182027.
  • Mosley, Michael (2020). Fast asleep : improve brain function, lose weight, boost your mood, reduce stress, and become a better sleeper (First ed.). New York: Atria Books. ISBN 9781982106928. OCLC 1181841827.
  • Mosley, Michael (2020). COVID-19 : everything you need to know about the Corona Virus and the race for the vaccine (First ed.). New York: Atria Books. ISBN 9781982164744. OCLC 1156472581.
  • Mosley, Michael (2021). The Fast 800 Keto: Eat well, burn fat, manage your weight long-term (First ed.). Short Books. ISBN 9781780725024.


  1. ^ Mosley, Michael (25 January 2013). "The flu virus that nearly killed me". BBC News.
  2. ^ Rocca, Jane (17 March 2019). "Dr Michael Mosley: What I know about women". Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ a b c Chapman, Beth (27 March 2004). "From finance to medicine to the media". BMJ Careers. 328 (7442). BMJ Group: s129. doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7442.s129. S2CID 79711196. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Inventions That Changed The World" (press release). BBC.
  5. ^ "Short fast sprints 'cut' diabetes". BBC News. 28 January 2009.
  6. ^ "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by BBC Studios". YouTube.[dead YouTube link]
  7. ^ "Can science explain why I'm a pessimist?". BBC News. 10 July 2013.
  8. ^ "BBC Two - Horizon, 2012-2013, The Truth About Personality". BBC.
  9. ^ "Health & science communicator Dr Michael Mosley retraces his career and passions with John Cowan".
  10. ^ "The Diagnosis Detectives and the mysterious case of the swollen eye".
  11. ^ "Channel 4 show ‘Lose a Stone in 21 Days’ condemned as ‘irresponsible’ as eating disorder charity keeps helplines open during show". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Beat's response to Channel 4's Lose a Stone in 21 Days". beateatingdisorders.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  13. ^ "What is the Fast 800 diet?". bbcgoodfood.com. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  14. ^ "BBC Two - Horizon, 2012-2013, Eat, Fast and Live Longer". BBC.
  15. ^ Harvie, Michelle; Pegington, Mary; Mattson, Mark; Frystyk, Jan; Dillon, Bernice (2011). "The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomised trial in young overweight women". International Journal of Obesity. 35 (5): 714–727. doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.171. PMC 3017674. PMID 20921964.
  16. ^ Mattson, Mark (2022). The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance. MIT Press. p. 198 (Kindle edition).
  17. ^ Does the 5:2 diet work?
  18. ^ Marengo, Katherine (28 January 2019). "How to do the 5:2 diet". Medical News Today. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  19. ^ Michael Mosley: ‘No male in my family has made it beyond 72
  20. ^ Mosley M (5 August 2012). "The power of intermittent fasting". BBC Health. Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  21. ^ a b "Horizon - Eat, Fast and Live Longer". BBC iPlayer. 6 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 January 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  22. ^ Wilson P (10 February 2020). "What the science says about the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet". ABC Everyday. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 February 2021. This story, which was originally written by Pamela Wilson and published by ABC Health and Wellbeing, has been reviewed by Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, nutritionist and visiting fellow, School of Medical Sciences, University of NSW, and was updated in 2019. Posted 5 Feb 2020, updated 10 Feb 2020
  23. ^ Paine, Hannah (23 January 2020). "Hidden problem with 5:2 diet". The Chronicle. Australia.
  24. ^ a b c Membery, York (29 March 2020). "Dr Michael Mosley: For me, health and wealth go together". The Sunday Times.
  25. ^ "Can a fasting diet lead to sustainable good health?". abc.net.au. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  26. ^ a b c "Fast 800 Keto: Eat well, burn fat, manage your weight long-term". redpenreviews.org. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  27. ^ "Frontline Medicine". BBC Two. BBC. Retrieved 9 January 2022. Last on: Thu 24 Nov 2011; Michael Mosley travels from the frontline of war to the frontline of research to uncover the medical breakthroughs that are coming out of current conflicts
  28. ^ Mosley, Michael (28 June 2018). "Being back in the NHS 'reminded me of Afghanistan'". BBC News. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  29. ^ Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) (18 November 2011). "TV programme showcases military medics' work in Helmand". GOV.UK. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  30. ^ "Frontline Medicine (TV Series 2011)". IMDb. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  31. ^ "Michael Mosley: Frontline Medicine, Ep.1 Survival". Media Centre. Special Broadcasting Service. 14 April 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  32. ^ "Big Brother meets lab rats". New Straits Times. 19 June 2017.
  33. ^ "BBC Earth partners with humanoid robot 'Sophia' to explain what it means to be human". BBC Media Centre. 24 May 2017.
  34. ^ "21 Day Body Turnaround with Michael Mosley". Channel 4. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  35. ^ Mosley, Michael (27 May 2021). "21 Day Body Turnaround with Michael Mosley". The Fast 800. Dr Michael Mosley's new, three part show, 21 Day Body Turnaround with Michael Mosley, starts on Thursday 27th May on Channel 4.
  36. ^ "The UK Sleep Census". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  37. ^ "Australia's Health Revolution with Dr Michael Mosley". www.sbs.com.au.
  38. ^ "Channel 4 investigates why Britain is losing the battle with obesity". channel4.com/press. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  39. ^ "Michael Mosley: Secrets Of Your Big Shop". channel4.com/4viewers. Retrieved 31 January 2024.
  40. ^ "Horizon: Ulcer Wars". BBC Programme Index. genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. 16 May 1994. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  41. ^ Colin-Jones, Duncan Gadsby (21 May 1994). "Views And Reviews: The subtle microbe". BMJ. 308 (6940): 1378. doi:10.1136/bmj.308.6940.1378. S2CID 72871904.
  42. ^ Mosley, Michael (9 July 1994). "Letters: Ulcer wars". BMJ. 309 (6947): 132. doi:10.1136/bmj.309.6947.132b. PMC 2540582. PMID 8038665.
  43. ^ Mosley, Michael (22 August 2019). "Gut feelings". BBC Science Focus Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  44. ^ Millson, Peter (1994). Ulcer Wars: Text Adapted from the Programme Transmitted 16 May, 1994, Repeated 5 December, 1994, And, Horizon Ulcer Wars Fact Sheet. BBC.
  45. ^ "Horizon 1994x15 "Ulcer Wars"". trakt.tv. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  46. ^ Armstrong, David; Reyburn, Hugh; Jones, Roger (13 April 1996). "A study of general practitioners' reasons for changing their prescribing behaviour". BMJ: British Medical Journal. 312 (7036): 949–952. doi:10.1136/bmj.312.7036.949. JSTOR 29731312. PMC 2350770. PMID 8616310. Free PMC/PMID article
  47. ^ Bhidé, Amar; Datar, Srikant M.; Stebbins, Katherine (July 2019). "Eradicating Helicobacter Pylori Infections to Treat Ulcers: Case Histories of Significant Medical Advances". Working Paper - Faculty & Research (20–006). Harvard Business School. Retrieved 9 January 2022. (Revised May 2021) PDF
  48. ^ "Michael Mosley". Television Academy. Retrieved 9 January 2022. Outstanding Non-Fiction Special (Informational) - 2002 NOMINEE Michael Mosley, Executive Producer The Human Face with John Cleese TLC
  49. ^ "Dr Clare Bailey reveals her passionate approach to diet – and views on HRT". You. 2 September 2018.
  50. ^ "BBC One - The Truth About..., Sleep". BBC.

External links[edit]