Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Derek Acorah

Derek Acorah

Derek Acorah on the first series of Most Haunted
BornDerek Francis Johnson
(1950-01-27) 27 January 1950 (age 62)
Bootle, Merseyside, England
Known forMost Haunted, Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns, Granada Breeze, Antiques Ghost Show
Spouse(s)Gwen Acorah (1987-1990)

Derek Acorah (born Derek Francis Johnson on 27 January 1950) is an English medium. He is best known for his work on Most Haunted, broadcast on Living TV, between 2002 and 2005. He recently presented the series Derek Acorah on Sky Real Lives.[1] Although he continues to be a popular figure in live tours and television work, he has been criticised and parodied, often casting doubt over his legitimacy as a medium.[2][3]



[edit] Personal life

Derek Acorah was born as Derek Johnson, but later changed his surname to what he claimed to be his grandmother's maiden name, Acorah. He lives in Scarisbrick near Southport, Lancashire in North West England[4] with his wife Gwen, he also has a son from 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 U.S.A..
Acorah claims that his first supernatural experience came as a child when the spirit of his late grandfather visited him. [5]

[edit] Television Work

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 that he left the show to pursue other projects although the show's presenter, Yvette Fielding is reported to have said 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 the programme's parapsychologist, 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 prior to the programme, and he had subsequently repeated it during filming.[6]
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." She added "I was more angry than anything. I was upset that someone we considered to be close could do that."[7]
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.[8]
In November 2009 Acorah featured in two programmes where he claimed to be trying to make contact with the spirit of Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson: The Live Seance and Michael Jackson: The Search For His Spirit.[9] The show was named the worst TV programme of 2009 in a poll of more than 9,000 Yahoo! users.[10]
On 9 March 2011 Acorah took part in a live online seance. The event was hosted by The Sun which described him as the 'UK's foremost medium'.[11]

[edit] Madeleine McCann controversy

In May 2012 the British tabloid The Sun reported Acorah's claims that he had been contacted by a messenger from the spirit world regarding the currently missing Madeleine McCann. He said "I know her parents are convinced Maddie is alive and I'm really sorry – but the little one has been over in the spirit world for some time." The Sun reported that Gerry and Kate McCann were said to be disgusted by Acorah's claims, quoting a source close to the couple who said "This character Derek Acorah is nothing but a self-publicist. It's incredibly distasteful and insensitive."[12][13][14] Acorah's agent, David Hahn later told The Sun that Acorah "would like to apologise most profusely for this story breaking and for the distress it has caused the McCanns".[15]
Subsequent to the appearance of the Telegraph article The Liverpool Echo reported that Acorah had in fact been miss quoted. Acorah claimed that “This chap came on the phone to do an interview for a feature about the tour I’m doing in Ireland. He asked a lot of questions about my belief in reincarnation – he has put things together by association. “I have been stitched up by a paper run by Rupert Murdoch.” Mr Acorah claimed he told The Sun’s reporter he “hoped and believed” that Madeleine, who vanished while on holiday with her family in Portugal in May 2007, “could still be alive”. "[16]

[edit] Bibliography

  • 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'

[edit] References

  1. ^ Official Derek Acorah Series Page.
  2. ^ Derek Acorah responds to séance criticism – TV News. Digital Spy (2009-11-09). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  3. ^ SPOOKY TRUTH: TV'S MOST HAUNTED CON EXPOSED TV – 3am & Mirror Online. (2005-10-28). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  4. ^ The Scarisbrick psychic on show in Liverpool – Derek Acorah speaks. Southport Visiter (2008-05-09). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  5. ^ "About Derek". Official Derek Acorah website. Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  6. ^ Matt Roper (28 October 2005). "Spooky Truth: TV's Most Haunted Con Exposed". The Mirror. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
  7. ^ James Ellis (30 October 2006). "60 SECONDS: Yvette Fielding". Metro. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
  8. ^ Celebrity medium Derek Acorah – Entertainment – getreading – Reading Post. getreading (2010-04-15). Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  9. ^ Michael Jackson: Live Seance – Sky1 HD. Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  10. ^ News – News – Virgin Media. Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  11. ^ "Acorah webchat with the dead". The Sun (London). 7 March 2011.
  12. ^ TV psychic Derek Acorah in sick 'Maddie dead' claim | The Sun |News. The Sun. Retrieved on 2012-05-16.
  13. ^ "Derek Acorah, whether a charlatan or deluded, should be ashamed over his cruel Madeleine McCann nonsense". The Daily Telegraph (London). 15 May 2012.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "TV psychic Derek Acorah apologises for 'Maddie is dead' claim". The Daily Telegraph (London). 16 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Derek Acorah slams The Sun for Madeleine McCann reincarnation misquotes". The Liverpool ECHO (Liverpool). May 2012.

[edit] External links

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