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 67)
Bootle, England, U.K.
Occupation spiritual 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 spiritual medium.[1] He is best known for his television work on Most Haunted, broadcast on Living TV (2002–2010). He has received a lot of criticism casting doubts over his legitimacy as a medium.[2][3][4]


Acorah's first appearance was on the satellite TV channel Granada Breeze in 1996. During his five years with the channel, he began with Livetime before 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 Acorah alone and renamed Predictions with Derek Acorah.[5]

In July 2001, Acorah joined a new British television programme called Haunting Truths. It was subsequently sold to Living and renamed Most Haunted. He worked on the show for six series.

In 2002 Acorah featured in a the television series 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.[6]

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] Significant media attention was directed at Acorah in 2005, as he claimed to channel spirits with names allegedly suggested to him in advance, such as "Rick Eedles" and "Kreed Kafer", anagrams of "Derek Lies" and "Derek Faker" respectively.[7][8][9]

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. In November 2009 Acorah featured in Michael Jackson: The Search for His Spirit, in which he was shown attempting to contact the singer's spirit: the programme was named the worst TV programme of 2009 in a poll of more than 9,000 Yahoo! users.[10]

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 and Loose Women as well as a cameo in the 2011 film Big Fat Gypsy Gangster.[11]

On 9 March 2011 Acorah took part in a live online seance hosted by the Sun.[12]

In May 2012 in the Sun newspaper, Acorah claimed to have received a psychic message from Madeleine McCann via a 'spirit guide', stating that the child had died some time ago but would soon be reincarnated.[13] After widespread media outrage, Acorah used the same newspaper to publish an apology to McCann's parents..[14][15]

In December 2015 Derek Acorah launched his new 12-part television show entitled The Past Hunters:[16] the show rated No. 1 during the week December 21 to December 27 2015 on the network YourTV's viewing figures [17]

Personal life[edit]

Born Derek Johnson in Bootle, he is known professionally as Derek Acorah.[18] He lives in Scarisbrick near Southport, in North West England.[19] As a young man, Acorah 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.[20]

Acorah together with his wife Gwen is a patron for the charity Pathfinder Guide Dog Programme, a registered charity which provides seeing dogs for blind people.[21]

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.[22][23]


  • The Psychic World of Derek Acorah: Discover How to Develop Your Hidden Powers – Derek Acorah with John G. Sutton, Piatkus 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. ^ Matt Roper (28 October 2005). "Spooky Truth: TV's Most Haunted Con Exposed". The Mirror. Retrieved 7 May 2007. 
  5. ^ Channel 5
  6. ^ Celebrity medium Derek Acorah – Entertainment – getreading – Reading Post. getreading (15 April 2010). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  7. ^ Catchpole, Charlie (4 April 2005). "More mystery on Most Haunted". The Express – via LexisNexis. 
  8. ^ Chalmers, Robert (10 July 2005). "He sees dead people". Independent on Sunday – via LexisNexis. 
  9. ^ Nevin, Charles (2005-08-26). "Psychic Derek - Charles Nevin meets Derek Acorah". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  10. ^ "Michael Jackson: The Live Seance voted worst television programme - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Derek Acorah at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ "Acorah webchat with the dead". The Sun website. London. 7 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "TV psychic Derek Acorah apologises for 'Maddie is dead' claim". The Daily Telegraph. 2012-05-16. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-30. 
  18. ^ BBC (8 December 2013). "BBC News - Derek Acorah charged after Southport car crash". BBC Online. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Scarisbrick psychic on show in Liverpool - Derek Acorah speaks". Southport Visiter. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2015. 
  20. ^ Football
  21. ^
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ "Derek Acorah banned from driving after Southport crash". BBC News. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014. 

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