Derek Acorah is a happy medium
PUBLISHED: 17:10 23 September 2010 | UPDATED: 20:04 24 September 2010
SPIRIT medium Derek Acorah, who is appearing on stage at the Wyllyotts Theatre in Potters Bar on Saturday, talks to Welwyn Hatfield Times news editor Chris Lennon about sceptics, touring the world, and becoming a movie star.
Derek Acorah in Potters Bar
* Derek Acorah will be appearing at the Wyllyotts Theatre off Darkes Lane on Saturday, September 25.
* Tickets cost £17.50.
* Box office: 01707 645005 or click on the link above
DEREK Acorah is a man with very broad shoulders.
Not in a physical sense. But, working for some three decades in a field which has as many sceptics as it does believers, he’s had to learn to take a lot of flak.
“My shoulders have become very broad,” he tells me. “They’ve had to be, because of the different way of thinking of people.
“Be they believers, those that sit on the fence, or the out-and-out sceptics, you’ve got to accept it as it is.”
But criticism from the disbelieving ranks does not put Derek off from continuing his work.
“It’s the proverbial ‘words do not hurt me’, I suppose. It does not in any way alter my feelings and what I do – which is responsibly doing my work with spirit.
“When I was in Australia, one fellow medium said to me: ‘Derek, it’s an uphill climb all the time’. And it is. Sometimes you get stamped on and pushed back a bit, but you carry on.”
Of course, Derek wasn’t just in Australia for a philosophical chat with a colleague. He and wife Gwen had returned home just 48 hours before my interview, following a month-long tour taking in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, as well as Auckland in New Zealand.
When you consider Derek has previously taken his psychic show around Europe, the Middle East and the USA, you start to understand how the fascination with all things paranormal is a global phenomenon.
“In Australia and New Zealand they’ve been recently receiving a lot of the paranormal programmes, going back to Most Haunted and Ghost Towns,” Derek says.
“They’re relatively new to the paranormal and are really taken by it – and that shows in their enthusiasm.
“I’ve been staying behind for hours after the shows talking to people. Virtually the whole theatre has been staying behind!”
But it’s his shows and readings back home in the UK that, he says, gives him the most satisfaction.
And it certainly keeps him busy. Having completed 40 dates in the spring, last night (Tuesday) he embarked on a 30-date autumn tour – which will bring him to Potters Bar next weekend.
He says: “I’m looking forward to this tour, I always do.
“I love the interaction with the audiences. There are differences each night, vast differences.
“Maybe you’ll get one audience that seems to be more laid back, and others that will literally be jumping out of their seats and being very vocal.
“It’s great to have that variety.”
Derek has starred in numerous shows since first appearing on television in 1996 – his stint on Living TV’s Most Haunted probably the most notable – but it’s the big screen that awaits in the coming months.
For he has recently finished filming scenes for upcoming British comedy movie Bulla, due for release next spring.
Derek plays a spiritual adviser to Bulla, a psychotic gangster figure you may remember from Channel 4’s The 11 O’Clock Show in the late 1990s.
“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” Derek says. “When I first went to do the recordings I had a very, very small part in it. But when I was there the scriptwriters liked what they saw and quickly re-wrote things to give me a larger part.
“It’s going to be a very funny film.”
But don’t expect to see Derek forging a career in Hollywood any time soon.
“Everything I’ve done I’ve been myself. I’m not an actor.”
So it’s ‘Derek Acorah: spirit medium’ for the foreseeable. But, having turned 60 earlier this year, just how long does he intend working for?
“I’ve no plans of retiring, no way,” he’s quick to point out. “I think I will work until the time I go over – as long as people want me, that is.”
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