He performs live shows around Europe in his capacity as a medium and has filmed TV programmes showcasing his talents for Ireland's RTÉ, where he has appeared weekly on The Afternoon Show, and has recorded Derek Ogilvie - The Baby Whisperer for Dutch Television station RTL4.
According to his website, Ogilvie communicates best with children who have not yet developed talking skills. "Children who are talking fluently are much harder to connect with telepathically". His book, The Baby Mindreader is published by HarperElement. Ogilvie says on his website that he has had great success communicating with special needs children, especially those with autism.
One episode, where Ogilvie attempted to guess the source of a child's distress, involved him attempting several guesses, neither of which were correct. When he suggested "a man shouting" he proceeded to shout himself, until (as Charlie Brooker phrased it on Screenwipe) "he made a single mother cry in such a despicable manner".
In 2008, Ogilvie applied to be a candidate on the 'Five' programme, Extraordinary People: The Million Dollar Mind Reader. In the show, sceptic James Randi challenged Ogilvie to prove he has psychic abilities. Ogilvie failed the test. Although Randi thinks Ogilvie really believes himself he has special powers, he does not think those powers are actually present.
In the TV documentary, Extraordinary People: The Million Dollar Mind Reader Ogilvie participated in and failed two experiments that tested his claim that he could read babies' minds. In one experiment at Goldsmiths College, London, Ogilvie was tasked to produce some unique knowledge about the baby's parents under conditions where the baby was brought in by a child minder. Ogilvie did not get to meet the parents. In the opinion of the researchers, Ogilvie appeared to cold read the child minder, but failed to produce any valid information pertaining to the baby's parents. Ogilvie failed to demonstrate mind reading ability that test intended to validate. Ogilvie argued that he could only report what the baby was telepathically projecting.
Ogilvie then flew to Miami, to participate in a controlled laboratory experiment, constructed by skeptic James Randi, to test for psychic ability. If Ogilvie could correctly guess 6 out of 10 randomized toy choices made by a toddler in another room, then he would have proven his psychic ability to the satisfaction of Randi, thus winning one million dollars. Ogilvie correctly guessed 1 toy choice out of 10, thus failing the test and losing the challenge. A correct guess of 1 out of 10 random toy choices was expected by chance alone.
In a final test, Ogilvie subjected himself to a quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG), insisting to Coral Springs psychotherapist and neurofeedback therapist, Dr. Gerald Gluck that he was not faking his abilities. Ogilvie pointed to his forehead, saying he thought his ability was related to activity located in the "frontal lobe." Gluck produced charts and graphs that seemed to support the possibility that Ogilvie's brain was sensitive to emotional and non-verbal communication. In the film, Gluck did not interpret the data to mean Ogilvie possessed telepathy or mind reading ability. Gluck did not conclude on the basis of the EEG results that Ogilvie was a mind reader.