THERE’S something regrettably unlikely and earth-bound about a Liverpudlian former footballer turned psychic medium. Derek Acorah looks like an average bloke: what business has he conversing, then, with those who have shuffled off this mortal coil?
Yet thousands choose to fall under Acorah’s spell, whether from a desperate need to hear good news about loved ones who have died, or because they get a spooky thrill imagining someone able to navigate the great mysteries of life beyond the grave. Perhaps they just like the idea of having a laugh at someone who claims to have a spirit guide named Sam and has repeatedly been possessed on TV’s Most Haunted by assorted benevolent and recalcitrant spirits in badly lit houses up and down the UK.
Charlatan or genuinely gifted, it hasn’t stopped Acorah from forging a lucrative career as a spirit medium, and several books and often risible TV shows behind him - 2009’s attempts to make contact with the spirit of Michael Jackson was voted one of the worst programmes of the year - he’s now on tour again. Derek will perform a host of Northern Irish dates, taking in Lisburn, Ballymena, Armagh, Strabane and Omagh before finishing at the Waterfront on May 26. To be sure, he’s been parodied and lampooned energetically - but Derek is still going strong after 15 years in the public eye.