Derek Acorah rose from the unlikely background as a professional soccer player to become the celebrity medium he is today. He has appeared on television as the host of Living TV's Most Haunted, and continues to tour throughout the UK. His skills include psychically reading the history of a given object or location, as well as communicating with spirits either directly or via possession.
Acorah's gift first manifested when he was a child in England. He was visited by the spirit of his late grandfather. When he reported this visitation to his grandmother, she was not surprised. As a medium herself, it came as little shock to her that one of her descendants would also show evidence of the ability.
Despite the early signs of his mediumship, Acorah went on to play soccer with various teams in the UK and abroad, going so far as to play in Australia. At the end of his professional career, he returned to England and settled down in Liverpool, where he had been born and raised. As he struggled to find a new career that suited him, he was haunted by his psychic abilities, and ended up beginning his new life as a full-time spirit medium.
At first, Acorah held one on one sittings with his clients. Soon, word spread throughout Liverpool and beyond of his accuracy and insight. During this time, he suspected his life was about to change in a big way, and a medium acquaintance of his even said that she saw his “name in lights.” Before long, Acorah was approached by a researcher representing Granada Breeze, part of the Granada Television in Manchester. The researcher asked Acorah if he would be willing to make a guest appearance on a television program to discuss tea leaf readings for National Tea Week.
Although Acorah explained that his psychic abilities ran along a different course, the researcher was insistent. She had first heard of Acorah through her aunt, who had visited him, and was convinced he would be a perfect fit. Sure enough, Acorah's initial appearance on the show Livetime became a recurring weekly visit. Over the next five years, Acorah continued to appear on Livetime. Soon, other shows were developed that were dedicated to more fully showcasing Acorah's talents, as well as those of others gifted with similar abilities.
The first show to which Acorah was a main contributor was Psychic Livetime. Following its success, Granada Breeze released The Psychic Zone and Predictions with David Acorah. Predictions was hosted solely by Acorah. Each episode was split into two parts. In the first, Acorah performed readings for a studio audience, and in the second, he traveled to different parts of the UK to perform readings on the histories of various locations. There, he would interact with the spirits embedded in the history of his destination. He also conducted readings for people who wished to be visited in their own homes, for the benefit of the show's viewers.
After the success of these shows, Acorah was invited to host Haunting Truths, a British show on LivingTV which was soon renamed Most Haunted. By this time, Acorah had reached international levels of renown. The five seasons he spent co-hosting Most Haunted only further propelled him into the international spotlight. While he appeared in Most Haunted, he also participated in Antiques Ghost Show, where he unveiled the hidden histories behind beloved family heirlooms. During his time on these two shows, he won an award from the Variety Club of Great Britain for his work as a multichannel TV personality.
Unfortunately, Acorah's time with Most Haunted ended in confusion and mistrust. Acorah's hosting counterpart, skeptic Ph.D. Ciaran O'Keeffe, accused Acorah of fraudulence. O'Keeffe had formed suspicions that Acorah was not the psychic he claimed to be. He planted false information on set – a paper with the name “Kreed Kafer” written on it – and within earshot of Acorah, described Kreed Kafer as a malevolent South African jailor. Soon, Acorah appeared to be possessed by Kafer. At this point, O'Keeffe revealed that no such person as Kafer had ever existed. In fact, “Kreed Kafer” was an anagram for “Derek Faker.” There was no way for Acorah to have been possessed by such a person, given that he wasn't real.
Due to the resulting upset, Acorah left Most Haunted.
Since that time, Acorah has made multiple appearances on various television shows. First, there was Derek Acorah's Search for Guy Fawkes, a one hour special for LivingTV where he retraced the steps of the famous would-be terrorist. Then there was Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns, produced by Ruggie Media, which ran for three whole seasons. Next, Acorah traveled to Egypt to film Paranormal Egypt, which provided insight into the lives and mysteries of the ancient Pharaohs.
Having achieved such fame, it is to no one's surprise that Acorah has found himself parodied multiple times by different venues. On his website, he claims to be deeply entertained by each and every one of these references. He has also appeared on television shows that are not specifically oriented toward the paranormal, including a guest appearance on Doctor Who in the episode “Army of Ghosts,” Celebrity Five To Go…, Brainiac: Science Abuse, The Paul O'Grady Show, The Weakest Link, Harry Hill's TV Burp, Richard and Judy, Celebrity Juice, Loose Lips, and many others. He also filmed a live seance in 2011.
Acorah has also written and published several books, including, among others, Derek Acorah – Extreme Psychic, Derek Acorah's Haunted!, Haunted Britain and Ireland, and The Psychic World of Derek Acorah: How to Develop Your Hidden Powers. His works have been translated into a number of languages, including Russian and Mandarin.
In 2012, Acorah was called upon to apologize for and retract statements he had made about Madeleine McCann, a missing child whose abduction had received significant media attention. Acorah had stated that the child was dead, but that she would be reincarnated soon. Madeleine McCann's parents were upset to hear such a statement, and following much media pressure, Acorah recanted his earlier claims.
These days, Acorah practices his showmanship in a live show known as the True Vision Tour. He travels around the UK to impress audiences with his mediumship and related abilities.