||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (May 2012)|
Derek Acorah doing a photoshoot in 2013
|Born||Derek Francis Johnson
27 January 1950
Bootle, Merseyside, England
|Known for||Most 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 celebrity, author, actor and self identified medium. He is best known for his television work on Most Haunted, broadcast on Living TV (2002–2005). He has also presented the series Derek Acorah on Sky Real Lives. He has been criticised and parodied, with critics often casting doubt over his legitimacy as a medium.
Acorah's television career commenced in 1997 with the channel Granada Breeze. He remained with Granada Breeze during which time he was the main contributor in programmes such as Psychic Livetime, Psychic Zone and Predictions With Derek Acorah.
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 2005, Ciarán O'Keeffe, who plays the sceptic on the show 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 O'Keeffe had made up whose name was an anagram of "Derek faker".
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, its not acted." 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 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 ... I was more angry than anything. I was upset that someone we considered to be close could do that.
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.
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 2009 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.
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.
Acorah has written a number of books about the paranormal.
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.