Having created a TV phenomenon it makes sense to break out and start your own show bearing your own monicker – which is exactly what psychic scally Derek Acorah, the clairvoyant Billy Corkhill, has done with Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns. It’s the sequel to Most Haunted, that Living TV leviathan that rocked the UK with mouth foaming possessions and screeching assistants. Rumours of disharmony on set between Derek and co-presenter Yvette Fielding abounded making Derek’s solo project seem inevitable. Degsy has teamed up with Fright Night atrocity Daniella Westbrook – her cavernous eye sockets and smacked arse mouth are a great deal more frightening than any tortured souls knocking a few books off shelves and the like. Daniella is a firm believer in the paranormal and so would you be if you’d seen one-quarter of East 17 naked and merked your brain with 40 kilos of coke.
“Daniella Westbrook – her cavernous eye sockets and smacked arse mouth are a great deal more frightening than any tortured souls knocking a few books off shelves”
There’s an attempt to create a kind of safe spooky atmosphere in Ghost Towns. It’s the same type of horror that Bobby “Boris” Pickett was aiming for when he recorded Monster Mash. It really is a graveyard smash. Degsy and his crew of flunkies rolled up to Faversham, Kent in The Ghost Truck where local cranks tell their made-up stories about ghosts.
“‘my daughter keeps on getting woken up at two in the morning by what we assume is an entity’. Most people would assume she needed a piss.”
“My daughter keeps on getting woken up at two in the morning by what we assume is an entity”. says Wendy. Most people would assume she needed a piss but if you say it’s an entity, Wendy, then it is.
The signature Acorah spirit possessions are in full effect: a witch being sliced and diced by medieval loons, a man drowning in grain (eh?) and a sailor freezing to death because the pub was closed.
“Can you smell the tobacco?”. Yes, Derek – you’re in a pub. A hanging lamp rocking minutely from side to side. “That’s unbelievable!” says Westbrook. She spends her entire time shaking her head and saying “that’s amazing”. You would swear she was a stooge if it weren’t for her evident colossal stupidity. She really does believe this bollocks.
Angus Purden (“Gash In The Attic”) tags along as the “open-minded sceptic”. So open-minded, in fact, that his brain has fallen out. How his gormless mugging counts as playing Scully to the two-pronged Mulder of Degsy and Danni is anyone’s guess. His “hoots mon” terror in the face of night-time noises is truly pathetic.
“A couple of “manifestations” (floorboard creaking, dog farting etc) and it’s all ‘Ruh-roh. Raaaaaaaagggggggy!!!’ “
He’s as sceptical as Scooby Doo and about as courageous. A couple of “manifestations” (floorboard creaking, dog farting etc) and it’s all “Ruh-roh. Raaaaaaaagggggggy!!!” and he scarpers out into the arms of an understanding sound man. This boy is so pussy they could put a collar on him and call him Tiddles.
New to Ghost Towns is Derek’s Doorstep Divination – a bit like Danny Baker‘s doorstep challenge but delivered by Papa Lazarou. He gets “pulled in” by psychic energy to a random address where he doorsteps the unsuspecting inhabitants.
It’s not what you need of an evening – Degsy and Daniella on your doorstep. But the public just love it. They can’t get enough of Derek’s cold reading nuggets, telling them about the uncle who had a heart condition who’s watching over them and wants to tell them they’re doing just great and even telling them the source of the problem with their pipes.
“Only cabbages take this stuff seriously and you’re never going to convince them it’s all balls.”
This is where previous psychic shows have gone wrong. If more spirit people were willing to offer advice around the house – plumbing tips, interior design advice, fashion makeovers – then the whole country would watch. Queer Eye From The Dead Guy, anyone?
Why should Derek care if he has been exposed as a turd? Only cabbages take this stuff seriously and you’re never going to convince them it’s all balls. Better try and touch the moon before trying to reason their arses into the real world.
As ever, it’s the willingness of people to believe that allows mediums to flourish. Ordinary folk are just baying for paranormal experiences however dicey they may appear.
Never smarten up a chump, as Barnum said. Degsy certainly won’t be doing that in a hurry.
The verdict on Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns: Bands won’t play no more – too many shite mediums on the dance floor.
Marks out of 10: 4