December 15th, 2006

Derek Acorah

I believe in ghosts- no problem there. But I also  want to believe in Derek Acorah.

Acorah (for those who don't know him) is the psychic star of Most Haunted and Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns. He's a big, cuddly, Scouse guy with bleached blonde hair and an ear-ring, who used to be a professional footballer.

He's strong, he's brave- marching into haunted houses to confront the unquiet dead- but he's also in touch with his feminine side- empathic, nurturing, kind. He's fierce with the nasty spooks ("you coward! you scum!")  and gentle  with the poor lost souls who've lost their way and need pointing towards the light. The ladies love him.

There's just the one draw-back. There are- erm, how shall we put this?- questions about his integrity. On Most Haunted he was caught in a heffalump trap and wound up channeling invented spooks with names that were anagrams of "Derek Faker" and "Derek Lies" . On another occasion he got his locations mixed up and was recorded sensing the presence of spirits that properly belonged in a building on the other side of town. 

And then there was the time he ran into Richard Coeur de Lion in a Scottish castle the English king had never been anywhere near. Ghosts do move around, he explained.

So, like every other celebrity psychic in the history of psychism, he bends it a little. I like to think it's all down to the pressure to perform. It's not that he doesn't actually see dead people, it's that he takes out insurance in case he has an off day.

Because he's an archetype. He's Van Helsing, he's Denis Wheatley's Duc de Richelieu, he's Gandalf the Grey. He's shaman, magician, gatekeeper. Besides, he's really, really cute.

I don't just want to believe in Derek Acorah. I want to be Derek Acorah.