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 spirit 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) describes himself as a spirit medium.[1] He is best known for his television work on Most Haunted, broadcast on Living TV (2002–2015). He has received a lot of criticism casting doubts over his legitimacy as a medium.[2][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]


Derek was on the books of Liverpool FC during the Bill Shankly era but was released by the club without playing a first team game. He carried on playing at other clubs and finished his football career in Australia.[7]

Acorah's television career commenced in 1996 with the satellite TV channel Granada Breeze. He appeared on Granada Breeze for five years starting off initially on 'Livetime' then later appearing weekly on 'Psychic Livetime'. He also appeared on 'Predictions' which started out as a showcase for various studio guests but later became a vehicle for Derek alone and renamed 'Predictions With Derek Acorah'.[8]

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 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.[9]

In 2005, Ciarán O'Keeffe, who plays the sceptic on Most Haunted[10] 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][11]

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.[10]

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.

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.[13]

On 9 March 2011 Acorah took part in a live online seance hosted by the Sun.[14]

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]

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 roadside 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.[16][17]

In November 2014 when asked about the controversy surrounding his departure from Most Haunted he said there would be "a warts and all explanation" into what he claims are the real reasons behind him leaving the show when his autobiography is released next year.[18]


  • 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. ^ Spirit Medium
  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. ^ Football
  8. ^ Channel 5
  9. ^ Celebrity medium Derek Acorah – Entertainment – getreading – Reading Post. getreading (15 April 2010). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  10. ^ a b James Ellis (30 October 2006). "60 SECONDS: Yvette Fielding". Metro. Retrieved 2 November 2006. 
  11. ^ Koven, Mikel J. (2008). Film, Folklore, and Urban Legends. Scarecrow Press. pp. 163–. ISBN 9780810860254. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Michael Jackson: The Live Seance voted worst television programme - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Derek Acorah at the Internet Movie Database
  14. ^ "Acorah webchat with the dead". The Sun website. London. 7 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "TV psychic Derek Acorah apologises for 'Maddie is dead' claim". The Daily Telegraph. 2012-05-16. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ "Derek Acorah banned from driving after Southport crash". BBC News. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 
  18. ^ Autobiography

External links[edit]