Ten questions for Michael Mosley

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Ten questions for Michael Mosley

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  MummyBots 10 years, 6 months ago.

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  • MICHAEL Mosley is a British psychiatry graduate who has become a staple of the BBC’s influential science documentaries, some of which feature in BBC Knowledge’s coming What’s Your Body Hiding series on Foxtel. He’s also the author of The Fast Diet.

    What occupation is on your passport: journalist, doctor, TV presenter, self-experimenter or brand?

    ★These days you don’t see “occupation” in a UK passport. If you did it would probably include all of the above, except “brand”.★

    Do you still regard yourself as a journalist?

    ★Yes, I still like to research and disseminate information. I like to question, probe and ferret out new things. I am sceptical but open to new ideas. The thing I love about science is that it is always changing and as a science/medical journalist I struggle to keep up.★

    You were a producer of science programs at the BBC for many years. What made you jump in front of the camera?

    ★I’ve been making science and history programs for the BBC for 28 years, the first 24 behind the camera as a director then an executive producer. Fifteen years ago I had this idea – I wanted to make a series on the history of medicine, told through the lives of self-experimenters. I pitched the idea unsuccessfully for 10 years until Janice Hadlow, controller of BBC2, said “Yes”. She also suggested that I should present it as I was clearly passionate. Medical Mavericks launched my presenting career and my style of immersive presenting.★

    You’re damning of the complacency of doctors, who deal in old science. Why?

    ★I think it is right that doctors are conservative, but it is also essential they keep up to date. There is often a big gap between what the scientists have discovered and what doctors practice. We talk about the importance of evidence-based medicine, but all too often the advice given is not evidence-based.★

    You were diagnosed as a diabetic yet righted the problem? How?

    ★About 18 months ago I had a routine medical and my doctor said that my bloods showed I was a diabetic and recommended I start on medication. Instead I found out about intermittent fasting and high intensity exercise (both of which improve insulin sensitivity), lost 12 kg, lost four inches (10cm) round my waist and my bloods are now normal.★

    What’s the most demeaning or toughest thing you’ve put yourself through in the name of science or television?

    ★I am mildly claustrophobic and while doing a program about fear I went caving and got stuck underground. Terrifying.★

    Describe the feeling of watching the vision from a camera you swallowed as it passes through your body?

    ★The worst bit about swallowing the camera was it got stuck briefly in my throat. So when it passed through and into my stomach I was hugely relieved. Then totally absorbed by this weird alien landscape that the camera revealed.★

    How did you deal with the revelation in The Brain: A Secret History, that you shared brain traits with psychopaths? Must have made for some fun office banter?

    ★I told my wife and she said “You didn’t need to do the test, I could have told you that beforehand.” What the machine revealed is that I am not quite as warm and empathic as I like to think.★

    How does your life and career change when you become a best-selling author of a new diet regime?

    ★It hasn’t really changed much. I give a few more talks, but mainly I am just getting on with the next thing. I have, for example, just made a film about meditation which was fascinating.★

    Cheap journalist shortcut – is there one credo or piece of scientific knowledge you’ve learnt that defines or changed your life more than any other?

    ★The power of skepticism. The power of the scientific method, whether it is focused on the universe or the human body, is it turns common sense on its head. Who would believe we live on a rock hurtling through space – or that you can get the benefits of exercise from just a few minutes a week – if it weren’t for the fact that someone actually put common sense to the test?★


    What are your thoughts on the difference between men and women. The research seems to be primarily on men and they have a higher muscle mass and of course a very different hormonal profile. I am very interested in yoga and ayurveda advocates fasting but I have my suspicions that this is very oriented to men as well. Thank you

    Surely being trapped underground pales in comparison to bungee jumping from the Verzasca Dam?!

    Also, it was interesting to see the ‘Inside Michael Mosley’ program mentioned. Although I must point out to any unsuspecting Mosley Groupies that the program is highly misleading! I sat through the whole thing expecting to get a bum-shot at the end, only to see Michael slink off to the lav sans camera crew. Uber disappointment doesn’t begin to describe my sentiments.

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