Entertainment

Michael Mosley gets the inside scoop in new docos

Journalist and TV presenter Michael Mosley.
Journalist and TV presenter Michael Mosley. Contributed

MICHAEL Mosley is known for being the guinea pig in his own experiments.

He has swallowed a camera and infected himself with tapeworms, leeches and even malaria for the sake of his documentaries.

But the psychiatrist-turned-medical journalist and TV presenter has an Australian to thank for his penchant for self experimentation.

In the first documentary series he fronted for the BBC, Medical Mavericks, Dr Mosley interviewed Australian physician Barry Marshall before he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

"He discovered stomach ulcers are caused not by stress, as everyone believed, but by a previously unknown organism and to demonstrate it he swallowed it himself and induced ulcers," Dr Mosley told The Guide during a recent visit to Australia as a guest speaker at the ASTRA Conference.

"When I went to film him I asked 'how many doctors believe you?' He said it's taken 10 years and only 10% of doctors (believe me).

"He had a mass of research, but even so there was huge resistance.

"When I made the documentary I got a review in the British Medical Journal describing it as one-sided and tangential. I was very pleased when Barry won the Nobel Peace Prize."

In his latest series of documentaries airing over the next three weeks on BBC Knowledge, Dr Mosley looks at three very different topics.

Firstly in Secret Science: Inside Porton Down, he was given exclusive access to Britain's top-secret military and scientific base that specialises in chemical and biological warfare.

"They still make these gases including VX gas, which is the most lethal nerve agent ever known to man, because they need to know how to battle it in wars or terrorist attacks," he said. "It is both scary as hell and fascinating as hell."

To demonstrate some of the effects of chemical weapons Dr Mosley agreed to being exposed to tear gas at the facility.

"My producer assured me I wouldn't be too bad; it was ghastly," he said. "I was crying my eyes out and trying not to vomit."

His other two documentaries explore the science behind organ transplants and the science of predicting who will become a murderer.

"I was training to become forensic psychiatrist (before getting into TV) so I was interested in killers," he said.

"I'm very intrigued why people do what they do and this doco is about that. It follows history from when people said you could tell a murderer from the shape of a person's ears or head through to brand new stuff like the warrior gene. If you have it, then it dramatically increases your chance of being a murderer."

His next goal is to further educate the masses about nutrition.

"I see that as my remit - to spread what I come across in the research field to a much wider audience, and to be sceptical."

Secret Science: Inside Porton Down airs tonight at 8.30pm on BBC Knowledge.

The Mystery of Murder airs September 29 at 8.30pm and Mend Me: A Guide to Transplants airs October 6 at 8.30pm, also on BBC Knowledge.

Topics:  bbc knowledge, medicine, michael mosley, science, television


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Not just any party, it's the Arty Party!

FOR ALL: The event will feature performers, local artists, storytellers, musicians and dancers.

A family-friendly, child-focused arts festival

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Local Partners

Programmers' joke is on us

Airdre Grant gets back at her computer. It doesn't control everything!

How to manage sustainability

Deborah Benhayon - Open For Business.

What business has to do to maintain sustainable development.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Not just any party, it's the Arty Party!

FOR ALL: The event will feature performers, local artists, storytellers, musicians and dancers.

A family-friendly, child-focused arts festival

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

All she wants is to be chosen

TAKE ME HOME: Daisy from pet shop to pound to your place.

Daisy has gone from puppy farm pet shop dog to the pound.

It's time to get your shorts on the big screen

ANIMATED: Citizen To Activist, an animation by David Lowe and Eve Jeffrey, won the Jury Award for best Short Film at Flickerfest 2015 - Byron AllShorts.

Entries for Flickerfest 2017 and Byron All Shorts are now open

These local movies will shine at 10th Byron Film Festival

LOCAL STORIES: One of the films featured this year is The Bentley Effect, a documentary about the Bentley Blockade.

THIS year marks a milestone for the Byron Bay Film Festival

Graceful Russian ballerinas will perform Swan Lake

ON STAGE: The Russian National Ballet Theatre brings their production of Swan Lake, the full length classical performance.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre is coming soon

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.