Okay, this is going to seem like an odd one. As my story unravels, it will make sense (hopefully).
Last weekend, Derek Acorah left the mortal world to whatever is next. If you don’t know Derek Acorah, he was a spiritual medium. Here’s a link to his wiki page:
I don’t know what your views are about this subject, I don’t much care. We all have our own beliefs. However, Derek Acorah was a fascinating person. He came to fame on the television programme, ‘Most Haunted’. Acorah started to become possessed regularly and was the star of the show (discounting his spirit guide Sam). If you have a childish sense of humour, here is the reason why.
I don’t know what happened behind the scenes, but there seemed to be a plot to get rid of him. He was set up with fake names on the show. When this was ‘leaked’, Acorah was sacked because apparently, as the show’s host Yvette Fielding said, that we always said everything was real, and as he faked it, he had to go (I paraphrase). If you’ve watched the Youtube above, you will see how fake it was. Fielding was also caught out on a live show as she was telling someone that Derek was a fake bas… At that point they cut to an ad break, something Fielding thought happened a few seconds earlier.
This was a teaser for Whatever Happened to the Ghost Sleuthers.
What has this got to do with anything? Well, Derek Acorah was an inspiration. Not so much as a spiritualist medium but to create something else. Initially, a comic character created by fellow writer, Rich John complete with the fake Liverpudlian accent, slicked-back hair, and finding ghosts in the most unlikely places. Over time though, the character was developed. He became Sylvester Da Silva. Da Silva had two spirit guides, called Ang and Diab, but he was never quite sure who was telling the truth. He was from Newport but had roots in Portugal. Da Silva also made a living as a spiritual medium, and he also faked it because he was forced to. However, what would happen if you had this ability? Wouldn’t it drive you to distraction? Imagine knowing what people think of you. People were only talking to you because they want a glimpse into their future. Sylvester Da Silva was suddenly real.
The cover of Sylvester Da Silva's best selling book.
Sylvester Da Silva was the main character in two Amaline’s plays. One called ‘Ghost Sleuthers’ and the other called ‘Whatever Happened to the Ghost Sleuthers’, both co-written by myself and Rich. Da Silva was smart and funny, but also sad and lonely. He was ‘gifted’ with something he never wanted.
The character was well-received, and I think surprised people. This came from Acorah himself though. We never wanted to make him a figure of fun. He seemed a good person, and we were careful that Da Silva was also a good person. Da Silva was the real deal. Who is to say if Acorah was or wasn’t? However, our character was born of genuine affection for Acorah. It would be easy to make him a stereotype, so we didn’t. It made us work harder to find the character. The plays were better for it.
RIP Derek Acorah and thank you.
Here is the closing to Whatever Happened to the Ghost Sleuthers (the play, which we finished with a film)