ENTERTAINMENT
04/01/2020 07:57 GMT | Updated 04/01/2020 09:36 GMT

Derek Acorah, TV Medium And Most Haunted Star, Has Died At The Age Of 69

His wife confirmed his death following a "very brief illness".

The TV medium Derek Acorah has died at the age of 69, it has been announced.

The self-styled spiritual medium, whose real name is Derek Johnson, appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017 and launched the paranormal reality TV series Most Haunted in 2001.

PA Archive/PA Images
Derek Acorah (1950-2020)

His wife Gwen Acorah shared the news in a statement on his official Facebook page, adding that the psychic had been in intensive care after falling into a coma.

“Farewell my love! I will miss you forever! I’m devastated to announce that my beloved husband Derek has passed away after a very brief illness,” she wrote.

“Thank you so much to everybody who has supported me – I can never thank you enough.”

Gwen also referred to a “vile couple”, who she says “hounded him for responses to their ridiculous campaign whilst he was in Intensive Care in a coma”.

“I hope you have the decency to hang your heads in shame. I have things to deal with now but I won’t forget nor will I forgive what you have done,” she wrote.

Derek got his big break on TV thanks to Psychic Livetime on satellite channel Granada Breeze, and then followed it up with his own series Predictions With Derek Acorah.

He then went to Living to feature in Most Haunted, where he was the guest medium for several series until he departed after six seasons in 2005 following claims of fakery.

The show’s resident parapsychologist Dr Ciaran O’Keeffe told The Mirror in late 2005 that he had set up Derek by having other crew members feed him false information about spirits in various locations.

Dr O’Keeffe invented a long-dead South African jailer called Kreed Kafer, an anagram of Derek Faker, and said he was stunned when the TV medium “got possessed by my fictional character” at Bodmin Jail.

In 2006, Derek’s former co-host Yvette Fielding told the Metro: “We tell people everything is real, then it turns out he was a fake, so he had to go.”

PA Archive/PA Images
Medium and psychic Derek Acorah examines hieroglyphics on a stone tableau at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in central London.

After Most Haunted, the presenter had another series called Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns, which ran for three series in 2005 and 2006.

In 2009 he attempted to contact the late King of Pop in a broadcast called Derek Acorah’s Michael Jackson: The Live Seance, but the show was widely panned by viewers and critics.

He was forced to apologise to the McCann family after he was quoted as saying that that their lost daughter Madeleine was dead.

He reportedly told The Sun that she had joined the “spirit world”, greatly upsetting the McCanns, although Derek later claimed he had been misquoted by the paper.

In 2014 he was banned from driving for more than two years after admitting to driving without due care and attention and for failing to provide a breath test following a crash the previous year.

He appeared in series 20 of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5, where he came fourth.

Photo gallery RIP Celebs: Stars We Lost In 2019 See Gallery