Derek Acorah

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Derek Acorah
Derek Acorah 2013 2013-11-21 01-05.jpeg
Derek Acorah, 2013
Derek Francis Johnson

(1950-01-27) 27 January 1950 (age 69)
Occupationspiritual medium, author, TV celebrity
Known forMost 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 self-styled 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][6]

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 also featured in the television series Antiques Ghost Show, and in 2004 he was presented with the Variety Club of Great Britain's Multichannel TV Personality of the Year Award.[7]

Yvette Fielding, a presenter and executive producer of Most Haunted, initially stated "there is no acting on this programme, none whatsoever. Everything you see and you hear is real."[2] However, significant media attention was directed at the show in 2005, after Acorah claimed to channel spirits with names that had allegedly been suggested to him in advance, such as "Rik Eedles" and "Kreed Kafer", which are anagrams of "Derek Lies" and "Derek Faker" respectively.[8][9][10] Speaking in 2006, Fielding said of Acorah "We tell people everything is real, then it turns out he was a fake, so he had to go."[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. 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.[12]

Acorah also made a cameo appearance in the Doctor Who episode "Army of Ghosts".[13][14]

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.[15] In 2017 Derek played a small role in the UK horror comedy Crispy's Curse,[16] although the film failed at achieve a general release.

In May 2012, 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.[17] After widespread media outrage, Acorah used the same newspaper to publish an apology to McCann's parents.[17][18]

In December 2015, Derek Acorah, alongside Sean Reynolds and Rebecca Palmer launched their new 12-part television show entitled The Past Hunters:[19]

Throughout 2017 Derek toured the UK and Norway on his "Whispers from Heaven" psychic tour. He also competed in the twentieth series of Celebrity Big Brother.[20][21] Derek left the house on the final night in fourth place.

Personal life[edit]

Born Derek Johnson in Bootle, he is known professionally as Derek Acorah.[22] He lives in Scarisbrick near Southport, in North West England.[23] As a young man, Acorah was on the books of Liverpool F.C. 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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26][27]


Shirley Ghostman was a parody drawing on elements of Derek Acorah and Colin Fry and he invaded one of Acorah's shows[28].


  • 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. ^ "Derek Acorah - Psychic Medium". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Bainton, Roy (17 January 2013). 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. ^ "Celebrity Quitters - Channel 5". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  6. ^ Ludden, Ken. Mystic Apprentice Volume 5: Psychic Skills. p. 271. ISBN 9781105023552.
  7. ^ Celebrity medium Derek Acorah – Entertainment – getreading – Reading Post. getreading (15 April 2010). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  8. ^ Catchpole, Charlie (4 April 2005). "More mystery on Most Haunted". The Express – via LexisNexis.
  9. ^ Chalmers, Robert (10 July 2005). "He sees dead people". Independent on Sunday – via LexisNexis.
  10. ^ Nevin, Charles (26 August 2005). "Psychic Derek - Charles Nevin meets Derek Acorah". the Guardian. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  11. ^ Ellis, James (30 October 2006). "60 SECONDS: Yvette Fielding". the Metro. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Michael Jackson: The Live Seance voted worst television programme - Telegraph". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  13. ^ 1972-, Smith?, Robert J. (Robert Joseph),. Who is the doctor : the unofficial guide to Doctor Who, the new series. p. 115. ISBN 9781550229844. OCLC 905080310.
  14. ^ Mark, Campbell, (1 January 2011). "177". A brief guide to Doctor Who. Constable & Robinson Ltd. ISBN 9781849018869. OCLC 813165346.
  15. ^ Derek Acorah on IMDb
  16. ^ "Crispy's Curse (2017)". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  17. ^ a b "TV psychic Derek Acorah apologises for 'Maddie is dead' claim". The Daily Telegraph. 16 May 2012.
  18. ^ "I didn't say Madeleine McCann was dead claims TV psychic Derek Acorah as he says no-one can know where she is". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  19. ^ "A Christmas seance – we discover why NOW is the spookiest time of year". 9 December 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  20. ^ Pocklington, Rebecca (11 May 2017). "TV psychic Derek Acorah signs up for CBB joining all-star line-up in explosive summer series". The Sun. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  21. ^ Kelly, Helen (20 August 2017). "Celebrity Big Brother 2017: Derek brands Sarah 'out of control' in shock nomination". Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  22. ^ BBC (8 December 2013). "BBC News - Derek Acorah charged after Southport car crash". BBC Online. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  23. ^ "The Scarisbrick psychic on show in Liverpool - Derek Acorah speaks". Southport Visiter. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  24. ^ Football Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Fanning, Gary (21 June 2014). "TV psychic Derek Acorah visits Pathfinder Guide Dogs' shop in Hamilton". Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ "Derek Acorah banned from driving after Southport crash". BBC News. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  28. ^

External links[edit]