An attempt to psychically contact the spirit of deceased music legend Michael Jackson, which aired live in the UK on Friday night, sadly did not achieve this desired aim - and nobody was more disappointed than psychic Derek Acorah.
"I really thought we were going to get somewhere with this," Acorah said in a discussion segment at the end of the hour-long show. "I really thought our chances were good of magically reaching through to another plane of existence and communicating with the dead soul of the King of Pop from whatever fantastical realm he might now inhabit. But, though I had been optimistic, he didn't seem to be present."
The disappointment was heightened by the fact that, for the first ten minutes or so, Derek did seem to be truly receiving answers from the beyond, as he asked the singer questions out loud. Those of Jackson's friends and family who were present were obviously very emotionally moved, and in many cases tearful, to be told that their dearly departed was in fact present, and was passing on messages of love and peace through Acorah.
"But then I realised that there was just no reason to take it seriously," Acorah admitted. "As much as I would like to be able to offer genuine reassurances to the deceased's loved ones, I really don't think I was actually channeling Michael in any sense. It's far more likely that I just felt so personally invested in things, and had promised so much in bringing all these people here and persuading so many to watch at home, that I managed to convince myself that the thoughts I was having were coming from Michael's spirit, and that the creative workings of my own vivid imagination were something more ethereal and miraculous."
"Obviously I couldn't keep a charade like that up," he continued, "however embarrassing or humiliating it might be to admit to a complete failure and utter lack of psychic ability at this stage in my career. It would be entirely unethical. There'd be no way I could live with myself, knowing I was the sort of person who could be so disingenuous and toy with people's emotions for my own personal gain."
Acorah spoke humbly and at length, and closed the show what was widely regarded as an eloquent and fittingly touching reminder of the importance of honesty and integrity, particularly when dealing with such an evocative subject.
Next week on Sky 1, Derek Ogilvie reads some babies' minds and tells their parents about all the ways they're screwing up their children.