Derek Acorahs life – tragic death, Most Haunted axe and co-star feud

TV medium and psychic Derek Acorah died aged 69 on January 4 2020.

He was best known for Living TV's Most Haunted, a cult reality TV show that followed a team of paranormal experts as they investigated haunted locations.

Throughout his career, Derek was plagued with accusations of fakery as he conducted seances in which he claimed to have got in contact with high-profile figures.

However, he always insisted he was a legitimate spiritual medium.

Ahead of his paranormal career, Derek was a professional footballer and once played for Liverpool.

However, his footballing career was ultimately cut short due to injury.

Daily Star Showbiz looks back at his life and shock death.

Short illness

Derek's wife Gwen announced his death on Derek's official Facebook page, 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.

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

The cause of death was later confirmed as pneumonia brought on by sepsis.

Most Haunted

Derek appeared on Most Haunted as the show's spirit medium.

The paranormal programme ran from 2002 to 2010, although it returned in an online edition, and on Really TV at various times until 2019.

It was presented by former Blue Petere presenter Yvette Fielding.

The cult show turned Derek into TV's most famous spirit medium and ghost hunter.


During the filming of a 2005 Most Haunted episode at Bodmin Gaol, the show's resident sceptic Ciaran O'Keeffe left the name of a notorious South African jailer, Kreed Kafer, on a piece of paper and spoke of his identity within Derek's earshot.

When the cameras started filming, Derek claimed he was possessed by Kreed – but Ciaran later revealed the man was completely made up – and was an anagram of "Derek Faker."

When the sting was uncovered, Derek left the show, and Yvette said the following year: "We tell people everything is real, then it turns out he was a fake, so he had to go."

Derek also went on to present Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns, alongside presenters Danniella Westbrook and Myleene Klass.

Feud with Fielding

Following his Most Haunted exit, Derek said: "She decided when I left the show that she didn't want to talk to me any more.

"There was no need for it and it was very sad."

In 2015, he added: "It doesn't matter at all what people like Yvette Fielding say – I don't allow them to run me down.

"I've been crucified and lied about; there is a lot of jealousy out there, but I haven't opened my mouth about Yvette for years – I had a confidentiality clause and if I'd said anything negative, I'd have been sued and pursued and all my money would have been taken away."

When Derek's death was announced, Yvette said on Twitter: "Our condolences go out to Derek's family at this time."

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