On June 22nd, Derek Acorah will be returning to the Rock after his successful Soul Reunion tour in 2016 to entertain us with a leg of his next sell out tour: Love, Life, Laughter. Derek is a spiritual medium famous for communicating with the other side on a number of television and radio shows, including Most Haunted and Antiques Ghost Show, since which his career has gone from strength to strength. This month, I contacted him over the phone (I wonder whether he was expecting that?) to talk about inappropriate spirits, making it into the Celebrity Big Brother final, and what he has to say to his sceptics.

What do you think of Gibraltar? Are you happy to return?

I loved it! I loved the people of Gibraltar; they were so giving on the evening last time I came over. I like to think they all enjoyed it and I’ve been looking forward to coming back ever since.

Derek Acorah

How would you describe your job/skill?

I’m a spiritual clairvoyant medium – that means I connect with the dead. My belief is we all go to the spiritual world after our physical life ends. Some people call it heaven. I’m privileged to be able to service the worries and thoughts of people who have lost loved ones by making that connection. It means so much to people, and to me.

At what age did you notice you could commune with the dead? Can you switch it off?

M first apparition came to me at the age of six in my grandma’s house. It turned out it was my grandfather who had died 2 or 3 years before I was born. He was a seafarer who had a terrible accident in engine room of a ship crossing the Indian Ocean. Septicaemia set into his wounds before he got to shore. When I first saw him I didn’t know who he was – he was so tangible and real – I could see clothes he was wearing. He showed himself to me and told me that I should go down and tell grandma and mum that Richard was here, and that he was glad I could see him.

When I mentioned all this to my grandmother she said: “You don’t know what I am, do you?”. She was a medium too and had passed her skills down to me. She saw that in me and coached me from thereon in. It helped me greatly.

What was your oddest or most moving spiritual encounter?

I was having a holiday break with my wife [Gwen], cruising across the Caribbean. Just as we were getting into Barbados, I was lying on a sundeck with my eyes closed, when I felt a shadow come across my face, blocking the sunshine. I opened my eyes and there was a man looking down on me. He said, “You can see me, can’t you?”.

He said he was on the ship to see his wife and tell her he was okay. It turned out the man had previously been diagnosed with cancer at a very late stage and passed within a matter of months. He and his wife had booked the cruise before the diagnosis; she had decided to go on the cruise accompanied by her friends, as she believed that’s what her husband would have wanted (she was right).

I went to the ships purser who helped me track her down, and I started telling her what had happened up on the deck, how her husband just wanted to tell her he was fine and with so many people – even her mother! It was very touching, very emotional.

Do you interact with your own friends/family who have passed?

Oh yes I do! Both my mum and dad, and my in-laws. They come to my home regulary. When Dad passed away, Mum came to live with us at the same time as my mother-in-law. They had two favourite bedrooms, and that’s where they visit. We get visitations from many people who have crossed over, sometimes friends.

What do you say if spirits have an inappropriate or dark comment? Would you pass it on?

Nope not at all. That has been my absolute professionalism from a very early age. My gran said “If you haven’t got something good or helpful to say, say nowt at all! Make that your code”, and that’s exactly what I did. I don’t like or believe stories from so-called mediums telling someone something negative. Could you imagine a family member saying something bad? Never!

What was your experience on Celebrity Big Brother like?

They’d been asking me to go in the house for the last 5 years –I’d also been asked to go in the jungle… they’re still asking! My wife would sooner see me go into the jungle of Big Brother, so I did. It was an experience I’ve never had before, cohabiting with 14 other people. I enjoyed getting to know them… Shaun Williamson, Helen Lederer, Chad Johnson [also in this series was Sam Thompson from Made in Chelsea, Brandi Glanville from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Sarah Harding from Girls Aloud, amongst others] …I suppose you could liken it to a bad holiday. There were times where it was funny and times where the characters there were trying best to stay in. I didn’t change one iota – I stayed myself.

Do you get scared? What’s the most scared you’ve been?

I don’t get scared these days. I did a bit in my younger days when I first started doing Most Haunted as I’d never dealt with negative spirits before. On a couple of occasions they were trying to injure me, and actually did on one occasion, at a wine bar in Manchester. He got close to me and showed his true colours. It was too late to get him away from me immediately. Once I did, I had to be carried away in pitch darkness. It took hours for the feeling in my legs to come back – it taught me a lesson.

Tell us about your upcoming event this month. What would you like to tell the people of Gibraltar?

I’d like them to know they’re going to come to an evening with so much energy they’ve previously never seen before. They’re going to find themselves happy and full of laughter. There will be emotions and tears of course, as loved ones will be coming through. It’s gone very well since we started; the audience have been tremendous – I’m bringing that over to Gibraltar!

On the evening, loved ones who have passed over might come ‘across the veil’, as we call it, to say hello and tell their family and friends how they are, who they’re with and how they’re doing in the world of spirits. There is so much they tell their family members. After all these years it still takes me aback.

What would you say to sceptics?

They can believe what they want to believe. It doesn’t bother me, doesn’t hurt my feelings. What I know is the truth. There have been sceptics since the beginning of time and they will be around until the end of time. It’s silly to take on board the things they’ve said about me or others. To them I say: why don’t you come along?

What’s next for Derek Acorah?

Next I’m off to different parts of England as part of the tour. Each Tuesday evening I host the Derek Acorah Radio Show from 19:30 to 21:30pm [UK time] with guests who are experts in different fields in which I work and am interested in: the paranormal, healing, and spiritual. Tonight [15th May] my dear friend David Icke will be joining me. I’ve done a few recordings which could turn into a television show… the network is looking at the pilots. I’m very busy at the moment, a lot of things going on. I’m still completing my autobiography which will be ready in 2 months. It’s going to surprise and shock a lot of people.

And finally… can I have the numbers for next week’s EuroMillions?

I have been asked that so many times.

[Uh-oh.]

Actually, I have a story about that. Many years ago when I was doing readings from an office in Liverpool, a lady come along on a Friday afternoon and I told her I could see a huge money coming her way. The lottery had only been in force for 2 years then. A month later, the same lady turns up unexpectedly with large box of chocolates, flowers, and a cheque. She said: “I won the lottery! 3.4 million pounds!” I couldn’t accept it of course. We gave it to a hospital that treats children for cancer.

* * *

And with that, I bid the charming Derek adieu.

… And head straight out to buy a lottery ticket.

Catch Derek on his Love, Life, Laughter tour on the 22nd June, 19:30 at Ince’s Hall Theatre. Tickets can be purchased from sunrocklive.weebly.com or by calling +34 722570200.