||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (May 2012)|
Derek Acorah doing a photoshoot in 2013
|Born||Derek Francis Johnson
27 January 1950
Bootle, Merseyside, England
|Known for||Most Haunted, Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns, Granada Breeze, Antiques Ghost Show|
|Spouse(s)||Gwen Acorah (1995 - Present)|
Derek Acorah (born Derek Francis Johnson on 27 January 1950) is an English celebrity and actor who says he is a medium. He is best known for his work on Most Haunted, broadcast on Living TV (2002–2005). He recently presented the series Derek Acorah on Sky Real Lives. He has been criticised and parodied, often casting doubt over his legitimacy as a medium.
Derek Acorah was born as Derek Johnson, but changed his surname to what he stated was his grandmother's maiden name, Acorah. He lives in Scarisbrick near Southport, Lancashire in North West England. He has a son from a previous marriage. He works regularly in television and radio and has made personal appearances across the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and the US.
Derek Acorah's television career commenced in 1997 with the niche channel Granada Breeze. He remained with 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 until his departure in 2005. Acorah claims he left the show to pursue other projects, although the show's presenter Yvette Fielding told Metro reporter, James Ellis that he was asked to leave after Ciarán O'Keeffe, a parapsychologist for the show, fed him misinformation to which he later responded during an investigation, presenting himself as being possessed by the spirit of a fictional character, which led Fielding and the programme makers to question Acorah's credibility. Acorah said he was possessed by the spirit of a man called Kreed Kafer.
In a later interview Ciarán O'Keeffe said that the character was a fabrication he invented, and an anagram of "Derek faker". O'Keeffe had fed this name to Acorah before the programme, and he had repeated it during filming. In a separate interview, the show's presenter and executive producer Yvette Fielding 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 jailor. 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.
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.
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 2009 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.
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.
- 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'
- Official Derek Acorah Series Page. reallives.sky.com
- French, Dan (9 November 2009). "Derek Acorah responds to séance criticism". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
- Matt Roper (28 October 2005). "Spooky Truth: TV's Most Haunted Con Exposed". The Mirror. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
- The Scarisbrick psychic on show in Liverpool – Derek Acorah speaks. Southport Visiter (9 May 2008). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
- James Ellis (30 October 2006). "60 SECONDS: Yvette Fielding". Metro. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
- Celebrity medium Derek Acorah – Entertainment – getreading – Reading Post. getreading (15 April 2010). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
- "Michael Jackson: The Live Seance voted worst television programme - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- "Acorah webchat with the dead". The Sun website. London. 7 March 2011.
- Derek Acorah at the Internet Movie Database