Derek Acorah

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Derek Acorah
Derek Acorah 2013 2013-11-21 01-05.jpeg
Derek Acorah doing a photoshoot in 2013
Born Derek Francis Johnson
(1950-01-27) 27 January 1950 (age 65)
Bootle, England
Occupation medium, author, TV celebrity
Known for Most Haunted, Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns, Granada Breeze, Antiques Ghost Show
Gwen Acorah (1995 - Present)
Children 2

Derek Acorah (born Derek Francis Johnson on 27 January 1950) is an English celebrity, author and self identified medium. He is best known for his television work on Most Haunted, broadcast on Living TV (2002–2014). He has also presented the series Derek Acorah on Sky Real Lives.[1] He has been criticised and parodied in the media,[2] with critics often casting doubt over his legitimacy as a medium.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Born Derek Johnson in Bootle, he is known professionally as Derek Acorah.[5] He lives in Scarisbrick near Southport, in North West England.[6]

In March 2014 he was convicted of driving without due care and attention and failing to provide a breath sample following a car crash. Acorah had failed a road side breath test but refused to give the required sample at a police station. He was banned from driving for 28 months and fined £1,000.[7][8]

Television work[edit]

Acorah's television career commenced in 1997 with the channel Granada Breeze.[citation needed] He remained with Granada Breeze during which time he was the main contributor in programmes such as Psychic Livetime, Psychic Zone and Predictions With Derek Acorah.

In July 2001, Acorah was asked to feature in a new British television programme called Haunting Truths, which was subsequently sold to Living and renamed Most Haunted. He worked on the show for six series. In 2005, Ciarán O'Keeffe, who plays the sceptic on the show[9] told the Mirror that he had been feeding Acorah misinformation to which Acorah later responded during the filmings, such as presenting himself as being possessed by the spirit of the fictional character Kreed Kafer he had made up whose name was an anagram of "Derek faker".[4][10]

Yvette Fielding the show's presenter and executive producer initially stated "There is no acting on this programme, none whatsoever. Everything you see and you hear is real. It's not made up, it's not acted."[2] However, in a later interview, she said:

Unbeknown to us, Ciaran O’Keeffe had suspicions about Derek and decided to plant some information to see if it would be repeated. He left a piece of paper around with the name "Kreed Kafer" on it and said, within earshot of Derek, that he was a nasty South African jailer. When we started filming, Derek decided to get possessed by this fake person. The name is actually an anagram of Derek Faker. We tell people everything is real, then it turns out he was a fake, so he had to go ... I was more angry than anything. I was upset that someone we considered to be close could do that.[9]

In 2002 Acorah featured in a series of programmes made by IPM Productions named Antiques Ghost Show and in 2004 Acorah was presented with the Variety Club of Great Britain's Multichannel TV Personality of the Year Award, as chosen by its members.[11]

After his 2005 departure from Most Haunted Acorah filmed a one-off special for LivingTV, Derek Acorah's Quest for Guy Fawkes followed by Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns with Ruggie Media. This programme ran for three series. In 2008, Acorah took part in two series for Sky Real Lives titled Derek Acorah and in November 2009 Acorah featured in a programme where he said he was attempting contact with the spirit of Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson: The Search For His Spirit. The show was named the worst TV programme of 2009 in a poll of more than 9,000 Yahoo! users.[12]

Acorah also made a cameo appearance in the Doctor Who episode Army of Ghosts.

On 9 March 2011 Acorah took part in a live online seance hosted by the Sun.[13]

Acorah's other television work includes Celebrity Five Go to..., Harry Hill's TV Burp, Celebrity Quitters and Paranormal Egypt. He has also made appearances on Celebrity Juice, Loose Lips (TV series), Richard and Judy, Bo' Selecta!, Brainiac: Science Abuse, The Paul O'Grady Show, The Weakest Link (UK game show) and Loose Women as well as a cameo in the 2011 film Big Fat Gypsy Gangster.[14]

Acorah has written a number of books about the paranormal.

In May 2012, following media criticism, Acorah apologised to the parents of Madeleine McCann after he claimed to have received a message from a 'spirit guide' stating that the child had died some time ago, but would soon be reincarnated.[15]


  • The Psychic World of Derek Acorah: Discover How to Develop Your Hidden Powers – Derek Acorah with John G. Sutton, Paitkus Books, 2003
  • 'The Psychic Adventures of Derek Acorah: Star of TV's "Most Haunted", Element Books 2004
  • Ghost Hunting with Derek Acorah – Derek Acorah, Element Books, 2005
  • Most Haunted: The Official Behind-the-Scenes Guide – Yvette Fielding, Derek Acorah, 2005
  • Haunted Britain – Derek Acorah, Harper Element, 2006
  • Haunted Britain and Ireland – by Derek Acorah
  • Ghost Towns – Derek Acorah, Harper Element, 2006
  • Derek Acorah's Haunted!'
  • Derek Acorah – Amazing Psychic Stories'
  • Derek Acorah – Extreme Psychic'


  1. ^ Official Derek Acorah Series Page at the Wayback Machine (archived October 9, 2009).
  2. ^ a b Bainton, Roy (2013-01-17). The Mammoth Book of Unexplained Phenomena: From Bizarre Biology to Inexplicable Astronomy. Constable & Robinson Ltd. pp. 120–. ISBN 9781780337968. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  3. ^ French, Dan (9 November 2009). "Derek Acorah responds to séance criticism". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Matt Roper (28 October 2005). "Spooky Truth: TV's Most Haunted Con Exposed". The Mirror. Retrieved 7 May 2007. 
  5. ^ BBC (8 December 2013). "BBC News - Derek Acorah charged after Southport car crash". BBC Online. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  6. ^ The Scarisbrick psychic on show in Liverpool – Derek Acorah speaks. Southport Visiter (9 May 2008). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  7. ^ Waddington, Marc (12 March 2014). "TV psychic Derek Acorah given a two-year driving ban following high speed crash". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Derek Acorah banned from driving after Southport crash". BBC News. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b James Ellis (30 October 2006). "60 SECONDS: Yvette Fielding". Metro. Retrieved 2 November 2006. 
  10. ^ Koven, Mikel J. (2008). Film, Folklore, and Urban Legends. Scarecrow Press. pp. 163–. ISBN 9780810860254. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  11. ^ Celebrity medium Derek Acorah – Entertainment – getreading – Reading Post. getreading (15 April 2010). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  12. ^ "Michael Jackson: The Live Seance voted worst television programme - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Acorah webchat with the dead". The Sun website. London. 7 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Derek Acorah at the Internet Movie Database
  15. ^ "TV psychic Derek Acorah apologises for 'Maddie is dead' claim". The Daily Telegraph. 2012-05-16. 

External links[edit]