Most Haunted star Derek Acorah has died aged 69 ‘after a very brief illness’ that put him in a coma in intensive care, his devastated wife has confirmed.
In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, Gwen Acorah Johnson said her husband passed away last night.
She wrote: ‘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.
‘Thank you so much to everybody who has supported me – I can never thank you enough.’
Derek Acorah with his wife Gwen Acorah Johnson who posted the heartbreaking news on Facebook this morning, writing: ‘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’
Acorah alongside his Most Haunted co-hosts Yvette Fielding and Phil Whyman in 2004
Gwen posted this picture of the medium playing with his pet poodle and German Shepherd early this morning
Acorah appearing as a guest on Antiques Roadshow in 2003. He has died following a ‘very brief illness’
Acorah is pictured holding up two of his cats at his house. A few days ago Acorah had posted on Facebook that he and his second wife had been ill over the festive period
Acorah’s wife Gwen revealed her heartbreak this morning after his death last night
A few days ago Acorah had posted on Facebook that he and his second wife had been ill over the festive period.
He wrote: ‘Good morning everybody and I hope you’ve all had a spectacular celebration bringing in the new year and the new decade.
‘I spent the time quietly at home with Gwen as we’ve both had the awful flu bug which has brought us down so low, hence the reason for my lack of live presence on Facebook.
‘I hope to be back within the next couple of days when I will be giving messages from spirit for the new year. Have a wonderful day everybody and much love to you all! X.’
He posted on January 2 a picture of a candle, with the caption: ‘Candle of hope! Share to light the way.
‘For all in need of strength and healing.’
And yesterday his official page also shared a picture of him with the message: ‘It’s Friday! Life is too short to start your day with broken pieces of yesterday, it will definitely destroy your wonderful today and ruin your great tomorrow.’
In Gwen’s social media post this morning, the wife of 24 years – who has two children by Acorah – mentioned a ‘vile couple who hounded him’ while he was in a coma. ‘I hope you have the decency to hang your heads in shame,’ she added.
Derek Acorah (left) entered the Celebrity Big Brother house at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Herfordshire in August 2017 (right)
Acorah (pictured with his dog) found fame as a spiritual medium and fronted Predictions With Derek Acorah early in his TV career
He went on to appear in series 20 of Celebrity Big Brother, where he came fourth. Left and right: Acorah
Born in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1950, Acorah featured in regular segments on 1996 TV show The Psychic Zone before becoming a contributor on spin-off show Psychic Livetime.
He originally had aspirations to be a footballer and was on the books of Liverpool FC – but did not play a game.
He went on to play football in Australia but his career ended while he was in his late twenties due to a leg injury.
His set up his own paranormal show, Predictions With Derek Acorah, where he would conduct readings with members of the public in their own homes, became a frontrunner for the genre of paranormal investigation programmes.
In 2001, Acorah joined Most Haunted when it launched and worked on the show for six series.
He originally had aspirations to be a footballer and was on the books of Liverpool FC – but did not play a game
He came under fire in an episode in 2005 when he appeared to be possessed by a spirit at Bodmin Gaol in Cornwall.
The show’s resident parapsychologist Dr Ciaran O’Keeffe said he had set up Acorah 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, Acorah’s former co-host Yvette Fielding told Metro: ‘We tell people everything is real, then it turns out he was a fake, so he had to go.’
After Most Haunted, the presenter had another series called Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns, which ran for three series in 2005 and 2006.
But Acorah fired back, branding Fielding ‘egotistical’ and ‘big-headed’.
In 2009, the TV star fronted Michael Jackson: The Live Seance, which saw him attempt to contact the singer’s spirit.
But the show was widely panned by viewers and critics.
Acorah 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 said she had joined the ‘spirit world’, greatly upsetting the McCanns, although Acorah later claimed he had been misquoted by the paper.
Acorah was banned from driving for more than two years in 2014 after admitting to driving without due care and attention and for failing to provide a breath test following a crash the previous year.
He went on to appear in series 20 of Celebrity Big Brother in 2017, where he came fourth.
While in the house he claimed his skills were called upon by Los Angeles Police Department, who asked him to visit the crime scene at the centre of OJ Simpson’s 1995 murder trial, following the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and friend Ron Goldman.
He told his housemates on the show: ‘I went out to LA, Psychometrised the building, and described two people, centred by a very powerful man.’
Born in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1950, Acorah (left and right on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017) featured in regular segments on 1996 TV show The Psychic Zone before becoming a contributor on spin-off show Psychic Livetime
His own show, Predictions With Derek Acorah, where he would conduct readings with members of the public in their own homes, became a frontrunner for the genre of paranormal investigation programmes
In 2001, Acorah (left and right) joined Most Haunted when it launched and worked on the show for six series
Some years later, he fronted Michael Jackson: The Live Seance, which saw the medium attempt to contact the singer’s spirit
Tributes flooded in for the late medium, with fellow paranormal investigator and presenter of Help My House Is Haunted Barri Bhai tweeting: ‘Despite some people’s views on him and the entertainment show he was most associated with during his career, he was very much loved by many and played an important role in our paranormal popular culture.
‘Thoughts go out to Gwen and his family and friends.’
Author Melinda Salisbury wrote: ‘Genuinely sad to hear Derek Acorah has died.
‘I was (predictably) a huge fan of Most Haunted, back in the day – I even went to a couple of Most Haunted Live! shows. No matter your beliefs on ghosts, Derek was a hell of a showman.’
Singer and 2011 X Factor runner up Marcus Collins tweeted: ‘RIP @derek_acorah.’
Former Big Brother winner Luke Anderson tweeted his condolence.
Ghost hunter Lee Roberts posted: ‘Heartbroken to hear the news this morning that my dear friend @derek_acorah has passed away.
‘Was one of the nicest guys in the paranormal industry, always working and opening doors for those that followed in his footsteps. I’ll miss you Derek, RIP.’