“He was found 10 metres away from the sea, 10 to 15 metres from his destination, the beach of Agia Marina, between a fence and a path.”

State TV ERT reported that he was found lying face up with his head on a rock.

“It is unclear if he had an accident or if he felt unwell,” Papakalodoukas said.

The mayor said that the body appeared to have fallen down a steep slope, stopping against a fence and lying face-up with a few rocks on top of it. The body had a leather bag in one hand, said Antonis Mystiloglou, a cameraman with state TV ERT, who was also on the boat.

A member of the search team flying a drone on Symi as part of the search for Mosley.

A member of the search team flying a drone on Symi as part of the search for Mosley.Credit: Getty Images

The coast guard and firefighters were deployed to the scene, a Reuters witness said.

The body was transferred to the neighbouring Dodecanese island of Rhodes for more tests, after a police official said a coroner at the scene excluded any criminal act but could not determine the exact cause of death.

Mosley disappeared after he set out on a stroll in searing temperatures along a rocky coastal path from Agios Nikolaos beach to the village of Pedi about 1.30pm last Wednesday. Mosley did not have his mobile phone with him, hampering tracing efforts.

Symi, part of the Dodecanese island chain, is about 16 kilometres long and has 2500 residents.

Police, the fire brigade, the coast guard and volunteers searched on and off the island in the eastern Aegean assisted by a helicopter, drones and rescue dogs.

Mosley was one of Britain’s leading communicators on diet and healthy living.

He appeared on programs including the BBC series Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, the BBC’s The One Show, and ITV’s This Morning.

Saleyha Ahsan, a doctor who worked with Mosley at the BBC gave her “heartfelt condolences” to Mosley’s family.

“He lived and breathed his work,” she told Sky News. “He was an inspiration.”

‘It’s devastating to have lost Michael’: Mosley’s wife statement

Mosley’s wife said in a statement: “It’s devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband.”

Michael Mosley and wife Clare Bailey Mosley.

Michael Mosley and wife Clare Bailey Mosley.

“We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together.”

The couple’s four adult children arrived on the small island of Symi on Friday night to support their mother and help in the search.

Bailey Mosley also thanked the “extraordinary people on Symi who have worked tirelessly to help find him.”

“Some of these people on the island, who hadn’t even heard of Michael, worked from dawn till dusk unasked. We’re also very grateful to the press who have dealt with us with great respect.

“I feel so lucky to have our children and my amazing friends. Most of all, I feel so lucky to have had this life with Michael.”

A day earlier, Dr Bailey Mosley, had spoken about the “unbearable” wait for news.

“It has been three days since Michael left the beach to go for a walk,” she said in a statement to the Daily Mail, where her husband is a columnist.

“The longest and most unbearable days for myself and my children.”

CCTV footage emerged on Saturday that appeared to show Mosley leaving the Greek village of Pedi and heading towards a treacherous, rocky and hilly area.

As a result of the video, rescue workers had shifted their focus on Saturday to the mountainous area between Pedi and the beach of Agia Marina.

The London Telegraph reported the path was a longer three-hour route back to where he was staying in the town of Symi. It said rescue workers had previously been searching the more direct road route between the two villages.

Papakalodoukas told the London Sun the area was hilly, rocky and treacherous, and offered no shade from the 40-degree temperatures.