Michael Mosley was ‘invited to appear on Strictly weeks before death’ after championing health benefits

Michael Mosley had been invited to take part in Strictly Come Dancing, a friend has said, after championing the health benefits of dancing.

The late TV star was reportedly excited as he told friends the BBC had invited him to be on the show for its 20th anniversary just weeks before his tragic death.

Dr Mosley, 67, died of natural causes last week after he went missing on the Greek island of Symi, having gone on a walk in searing 40C heat without a mobile phone. Following a major five-day search, his body was found on Sunday in a rocky area near Agia Marina beach.

TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley died while on holiday (PA Media)
TV doctor and columnist Michael Mosley died while on holiday (PA Media)

While it is thought the 67-year-old had not yet signed a contract for the show, a friend told the Mail: “He told me just the week before last he'd been invited to do Strictly.” The BBC declined to comment.

Participating in the series would have been the ideal role for the health guru who has often advocated the physical and mental benefits of dancing.

In May 2022, he told the episode of his BBC show Just One Thing entitled ‘How Can Dancing Help your Brain?’: “Dancing undoubtedly improves your fitness. It has been shown to support your mental health and it can even boost your memory. It can be used effectively for depression and it’s good for social connection. Dance has also been shown to help manage the symptoms of a number of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

“One of its most fascinating benefits is the fast and significant impact of dancing on your brain chemistry. Dancing can greatly increase the brain’s hippocampus – an area which plays an important role in learning, memory and navigation in space.

Dancers at the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour in January (PA)
Dancers at the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour in January (PA)

“Dancing is a valuable way to increase your physical activity. It can get your heartbeat up over 140 beats per minute and help you burn quite a few calories – around 340 every half an hour. It has a great combination of low – and high-intensity bouts during the exercise. On top of that, new routines are a fun way to challenge your brain.”

Dr Mosley even held a glitter ball during the programme, which is the winning prize on Strictly.

A Strictly insider said: “Dr Mosley would have been a hugely loveable contestant, exactly what the show needs. Particularly this year after the Gio row.”

The source is referring to the controversy over professional dancer Giovanni Pernice, 33, not featuring in the Strictly 2024 line-up of professionals amid allegations about his teaching methods, which he has rejected.