An Interview with Clinton Baptiste
By Victoria Holdsworth
Clinton Baptiste is the hapless, unsubtle psychic from Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights. Following his sell out tour of 2019-20, ‘The Paranormalist Returns’, Clinton has taken a whirlwind tour of the US. I sat down with Clinton to hear his tales of rubbing shoulders with the hippy dippy new-agers from La La Land and how he hit the big time in Vegas with his lavish psychic show.
Clinton, as ever it is a pleasure to speak with you, and not telepathically. I would like to congratulate you on your recently found fame across the pond. However the first question I need to ask, just to clear up some of the vicious rumours going about is, “Did you have anything to do with the death of your psychic rival Derek Acorah?”
Certainly not! You will remember that my last show was in many ways a tribute to Derek Acorah. I tried to take in his spirit guide Sam at some point. He was stuck in the hinterland. He took me up on it and started lodging in my frontal lobe somewhere near my subconscious, but we weren’t compatible. He never brought his plates down and he played his music a bit loud. In the end I gave him a month’s notice and returned his celestial deposit. He left a load of blu-tac on the walls up there in my cerebellum, which is annoying cos now I have to get a ghostly decorator in to clear up. Tch! That’s the spirits, though!
Last year you had a sell-out tour across the UK, and now you have cracked Las Vegas, the city of sin, which is a pretty big gig, but what made you decide to go stateside, and is it just purely unpremeditated that your arrival there coincided with the demise of Siegfried & Roy?
Well, I’ll be honest – staying in Vegas was less to do with being given a residency, but more to do with not being allowed to come back due to the Covid lockdown! Siegfried and Roy went big with the whole tiger thing and I could never compete… though I did once conjure the old Blue Peter cat from 1964, Jason. Never the same spectacle for a Vegas audience… a lethargic Cheshire just licking its own bottom.
“It’s a magical journey”
The Las Vegas scene is a pretty tough nut to crack, so how did you win the crowds over? And did you manage to contact Elvis whilst you were out there?
My act wins any crowd over. But you know what the Americans are like with the English – they love us… and you only have to stick a monocle in one eye and they think you’re David Niven! And let’s face it, we know I’m not. I’m a common as muck. Elvis came to see me in Vegas on several occasions, but he was there yack-yacking in the dressing room just when I was about to go on. In the end, I paid Barry Chuckle to take him into an adjoining room and amuse him with a bit of his “To me – to you” nonsense. Easily pleased, Elvis.
You came from very humble beginnings; How did you get started in this line of work and how have you adapted to all the glitz and glamour that the paranormal world has provided you today?
Well, I knew I was going to be a star. I’m a clairvoyant, love! My dad doubted it as a job – he said he couldn’t see a future in it. As for the glitz and glamour, I’d like to say I’ve got a diamond studded rolls royce. I haven’t. Though I did get some nice sparkly paper from Hobbycraft and plastered it on my Vauxhall Astra. It turns heads – oh yes.
For anyone who hasn’t seen you live, please tell our readers what they can expect from one of your live shows?
I will be plying my spiritual craft… doing readings with the audience, though be warned, I will tell you the truth! And then relating the story of my time in Vegas and my subsequent mystical discoveries in Mexico City! It’s a magical journey… and it has lots of funny bits along the way. Er… and scary ghosts and that, an’ all.
You have also embraced a more modern platform for your abilities, with the success of your ‘Paranormal Podcast’. How has bending over backwards to show people your third eye been received?
Series 4 of the podcast is out very soon… in fact, probably out by the time you see this. Through my podcast, I invite the public to ‘probe our souls’ on a regular basis. As for the tour, it gets longer and longer and the ticket sales go up and up. It’s wonderful… but I’m not doing it for the ticket sales, oh no. I’m not as crass as that! I do it cos I like staying in nice hotels, too.
On your podcast, you have a regular guest/friend called Ramone. How did you guys meet, and do you believe in his powers?
He’s short and wide from East Kilbride… Ramone! The man is a charlatan. He couldn’t read the Yellow Pages, that fella. We met after appearing at a variety of the same psychic fairs. We have a love/hate relationship – the public ‘love’ me and he ‘hates’ it. Sadly, Ramone features a lot in my podcasts and we are thinking of touring together next year to prove one of us has the greater skill… (or any skill in his case).
Not a man to rest on your laurels, you have also put together a little TV show called ‘The Mystic Hunt’ to help people with their home hauntings. How important is it to you to delve into everyday people’s issues to try and bring peace and resolution, and how do you deal with charlatans?
The Mystic Hunt is fully available via the exclusive broadcasting platform of YouTube. I wanted to make it fully available and not via some subscription channel. And also no one wanted to pay for it (very closed off spiritually, some broadcasters). It’s very important to help people release bad energies an’ that. But sometimes the spirits are benevolent. I was at a place in Vegas and a poltergeist that claimed to be the pianist Liberace turned up. Cause a mess? Not a bit of it! Every morning I’d find he’d rearranged all the cutlery perfectly in the drawers. The only time he threw any furniture about was when he was furious about the cushions clashing with the curtains. He chucked them in the recycling if I remember rightly. Great taste, that fella.
Who is the most famous dead person you have ever spoken to, and any who refuse to speak to you and why?
I spoke to Aristotle who said “The duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us in the hearing of persons who cannot take in at a glance a complicated argument.” And to me that meant… er… absolutely nothing. I didn’t have a scooby. I just conjured up Peter Stringfellow instead – much more of a laugh.
We saw you on Phoenix Nights get punched in the face, after giving a message to a member of the audience. Has this ever deterred you from spreading the word, or is it just a hazard of the job?
It is a hazard of the job…. people can’t handle the truth. However, I would firmly advise anyone coming to the show NOT to do that. I have Henry Cooper on my shoulder who will knock you into next year if you so much as touch me!
What would be the scariest experience you have ever had with spirit?
I once met Roy out of Siegfried and Roy. On a (diamond) lead or not, always ALWAYS ask if someone’s pet bites!
Your skills were showcased during the Euros were on, with your amazingly accurate predictions, do you see yourself as the British Uri Gellar?
Well unlike Uri, the CIA haven’t come to me for help with solving crimes. Though I am on a hotline to help Cressida Dick at the Met Police. Seriously, I can get hold of Dick 24/7. We woz robbed at the Euros. But I’ve had a chat to Maradona and he says we will win the World Cup. Mind you, he was laughing at the time and asked me to put £50 on Brazil. You can’t trust him.
How have you adjusted being back in the UK, and what does your new show, ‘Stratospheric’ offer that can top the last?
It’s much bigger and better than the last one. It’s got a bigger set that is a joy to play in front of but a total nightmare to get into the van at the end of the show. Oh yeh – the spirits LOVE to cavort all over the stage, but when it comes to the heavy lifting afterwards… forget it. They’ve disappeared into thin air! I am delighted to be back. Britain gets what I do in a way that the Americans don’t… or Europe, or Africa or Asia for that matter. Or Russia. Or Australia. In fact Yorkshire, is pretty much the most welcoming in the world!
Before we sign off, do you have any words of spiritual wisdom for our readers?
Yes. Stop me if I’m getting too technical, but spirits are all here round me saying: Get your fingers out and come and see the flippin’ show! You will love it.
For more info visit: facebook.com/realclintonb