Thursday, 17 May 2012

Douche of the Week - Derek Acorah


"TV Psychic" Derek Acorah claims to have spoken to the spirit of Madeleine McCann


“By the way,
Why is it okay
For people to pretend they can talk to the dead?
Is it not totally fucked in the head
Lying to some crying woman whose child has died
And telling her you're in touch with the other side?
That's just fundamentally sick
Do we need to clarify that there's no such thing as a psychic?”
- Tim Minchin, ‘Storm’

I don’t like psychics.

I especially don’t like TV psychics.

There’s something uniquely sinister about people who are willing to appear on national television and make utterly ridiculous claims about being able to talk to ghosts and commune with some spiritual ‘otherside’; the sort of person who tells you that, for a nominal fee, he can reach across the gap between life and death to let you know that daddy forgives you and that everything is alright. Whether delusional or confidence artists, they are charlatans who pray upon vulnerable people, frequently exploiting the deaths of loved ones for profit.

It’s just so obviously nonsense. These psychics have been debunked time and time again. Yet some people still seem to listen to them. So yes, I will happily admit that I rank television psychics on a similar level to television evangelists, holocaust deniers and wasps.

Television psychic Derek Acorah, however, seems to have decided that being a fraud is not enough for him and this week has dived right into the deep end of douchebaggery. How has he done this?

Well, he’s gone and told The Sun that he’s been contacted by the spirit of Madeleine McCann, the child who disappeared five years ago.[1]

It’s important to note that the McCann’s still believe that their daughter is still alive, and the police investigation regarding her disappearance is still underway. How much progress they are making is not for me to judge, but Acorah seems to be doing his utmost to shatter the hope that their child might yet still be okay when he says things like, and I quote:

“I know her parents are convinced Maddie is alive and I’m really sorry - but the little one has been over in the spirit world for some time.”

Truly classy stuff.

Acorah has a history of trying to cash in on tragedies and deaths in order to peddle his particular brand of pseudoscientific nonsense; in 2009 he hosted a live séance to “search for Michael Jackson’s spirit” on Sky.[2] Dredging up a tragedy such as the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is more than just a step too far, however; it’s a bona-fide leap across the line of common decency and his actions, quite rightly, have provoked national condemnation.[3]

The response from Acorah has been rather predictable; initially we saw him furiously trying to deny it with claims that The Sun had misquoted and misrepresented him.[4] Yet whether from a guilty conscience (unlikely) or from the onslaught of public anger (almost definitely), he apologised for his statement yesterday.[5]

It’s worth stressing that this guy is a proven fraud; his show, ‘Most Haunted’, was debunked by one of it’s own cast members back in 2005.[6] Acorah himself hasn’t really had much of a TV career since leaving the show, and so I cannot help but think that this McCann farce was perhaps his attempt at throwing himself back into the limelight. It’s certainly backfired if that’s the case.

So congratulations, Derek Acorah, you are this week’s biggest douchebag.

Now please go crawl back into whatever hole you spawned from and stop trying to profit from other peoples’ tragedies.


[1] http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4316621/TV-psychic-Derek-Acorah-in-sick-Maddie-dead-claim.html
[2] http://sky1.sky.com/derek-acorah-to-attempt-to-contact-michael-jackson
[3] http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100158061/derek-acorah-whether-a-charlatan-or-deluded-should-be-ashamed-over-his-cruel-madeleine-mccann-nonsense/
[4] http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2012/05/15/derek-acorah-slams-the-sun-for-madeleine-mccann-reincarnation-misquotes-100252-30972184/
[5] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/madeleinemccann/9270314/TV-psychic-Derek-Acorah-apologises-for-Maddie-is-dead-claim.html
[6] http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/spooky-truth-tvs-most-haunted-563082

3 comments:

  1. If I ever won the lottery, my next vocation what be a psychic. Think of all the credibility I've immediately have?

    The only readings I would give would be something like... "In the near future, you will stop believing in crazy supernatural shit."

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