TV medium Derek Acorah has died at the age of 69 after a short illness.
The self-styled spiritual medium’s wife Gwen Acorah shared the news in a statement on his official Facebook page, saying he had been in intensive care after falling into a coma.
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,” she wrote.
“Thank you so much to everybody who has supported me – I can never thank you enough.”
Acorah, whose real name is Derek Johnson, is best known for hosting paranormal reality TV series Most Haunted and for appearing on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017.
In her tribute to him, his wife also referred to a “vile couple” that she claimed “hounded him for responses to their ridiculous campaign” while he was in intensive care, adding: “I have things to deal with now but I won’t forget nor will I forgive what you have done!”
Born in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1950, Acorah 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 sporting ended in his late 20s due to a leg injury.
He got his big break on TV thanks to Psychic Livetime on satellite channel Granada Breeze, and followed it up with his own series Predictions With Derek Acorah, going on to feature in Living TV’s Most Haunted, where he was guest medium for several series until he left after six series in 2005 amid claims of fakery.
After Most Haunted, the presenter had another series called Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns, which ran for three series in 2005 and 2006.
In 2009 he attempted to contact Michael Jackson in a ‘Live Seance’ programme which was widely panned by viewers and critics and also later apologised to the family of Madeleine McCann after he was quoted as saying their missing daughter was dead.
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 came fourth in series 20 of Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother.