Television psychics, once a popular phenomenon, have gradually faded into obscurity over the years. As we reach the middle of 2023, it is evident that the TV psychic industry in the United Kingdom has completely collapsed, with no TV psychics remaining on air. Let us try and explore the factors contributing to the downfall of the TV psychic industry and how societal changes and increased skepticism have ultimately led to its demise.
The Rise and Fall of TV Psychics:
TV psychics emerged in the late 20th century, capturing the public's fascination with the supernatural and their alleged ability to communicate with the spirit world. These psychic mediums gained widespread popularity, attracting large audiences through their shows, where they claimed to connect with the deceased, provide personal readings, and predict future events.
In the UK names like Colin Fry, Derek Acorah and Sally Morgan gained huge popularity, but as their careers came to the natural ends, either as their popularity plummeted or they simply died, there didn't seem to be anyone to step up and take their place.
Exploitation and Controversy:
While some TV psychics were rumoured to genuinely believed in their abilities, the vast majority were driven by financial gain, exploiting vulnerable individuals seeking answers and solace. Several high-profile cases of fraud and deception involving prominent TV psychics came to light, damaging the industry's already ropey credibility. The exposure of fraudulent practices eroded trust, even from the biggest of believers and raised doubts about the authenticity of these psychic abilities from within the very communities they served.
This very website was responsible for exposing pretty much every British psychic medium that gained any kind of fame from 2003 onwards. I would like to think we had a huge part in collapsing the industry through education, and exposing of the tricks to the masses.
Increased Skepticism and Critical Thinking:
Over time, society became more skeptical and demanded a higher standard of evidence and proof, thanks to sites like BadPsychics. The rise of the Internet and access to information allowed individuals to scrutinize claims made by TV psychics more effectively. Skeptical communities, including scientists, psychologists, and rational thinkers, actively debunked the claims of psychic phenomena, exposing the lack of empirical evidence supporting their abilities.
Evolution of Entertainment Preferences:
The advent of digital media platforms and streaming services provided viewers with a plethora of entertainment options. As audiences diversified their interests, the once captivating allure of TV psychics began to lose its charm. People sought more engaging and intellectually stimulating content, shifting away from the passive consumption of psychic readings and predictions.
Alternative Avenues for Psychic Services:
While TV psychics have dwindled in popularity, the demand for psychic services has not disappeared entirely. The decline of TV psychics coincided with the rise of online psychic platforms and independent practitioners who offered their services via the internet. These platforms provided unfortunately made it all the more easier for people to be conned, after all it only takes a minute or two to look online and find out almost anything about someone, and fake psychics have quickly become adept at doing that. Where as your classic psychic medium, like a Derek Acorah would rely on cold reading, as well as the odd hot reading, in general their "skills" could be taken anywhere, as they had the charisma and personality to glean all the info out of someone face to face.
Do you really think some online facebook psychic would be half as good as they appear if they didn't have access to all the info on the internet at a moments notice?
Regulation and Legal Scrutiny:
In recent years, the TV psychic industry faced increased regulatory scrutiny and legal challenges. Advertising Standards Authorities and broadcasting regulators imposed stricter guidelines, requiring psychic claims to be substantiated by evidence. Legal frameworks aimed at protecting consumers from exploitation further restricted the practices of TV psychics, diminishing their ability to operate within the constraints of the law.
This is actually something I have written about before, and something that many skeptics refused to even address, as in some ways it acts as a defence to the TV psychic, I even had an article published in the Skeptic Magazine whereby I highlighted the restrictions faced by psychics, using a leaked contract I had obtained.
I posted a photo of that article on my Twitter account recently, go see if you can find it, and have a read for yourself.
The demise of the TV psychic industry in the United Kingdom can be attributed to a confluence of factors. Exploitation, controversy, increased skepticism, evolving entertainment preferences, alternative psychic services, and regulatory scrutiny all played a crucial role in eroding the credibility and viability of TV psychics. In 2023, the absence of TV psychics on air is indicative of a society that demands more substantial evidence and critical thinking, and seeks entertainment options that reflect its changing interests and values.
Whatever you think of psychics and mediums, as far as I am concerned, not having them on the TV is a very good thing. I just wish there was a way to stop the Facebook psychic, but they make too much money for Zuckerberg it seems.
By Jon Donnis