TV presenter, actor, author Jason Karl is best known for co-presenting the first series of ‘Most Haunted’ (16 part series) and ‘Most Haunted Unseen’ (16 part series) – the hit television series on LIVINGtv, freeview FTN and The Travel Channel in the USA.
He has recently been presenting ‘Yes Live’ on Sky channel 661 and in June 2005 he appeared in the short comedy film ‘Le Clenched Twat de Notre Dame’ for Lean Waters Productions – this was launched at The Commonwealth Film Festival in May, and is now screening throughout the UK. He is currently presenting a radio series called ‘The Ghost Zone’ for the BBC.
Jason’s first TV appearance was at the age of 14 in Anglia’s award winning ‘living computer game’ – Knightmare, now showing on Challenge TV, this was followed by various TV appearances and theatre roles. At the age of 16 Jason was lucky enough to work at Shepperton Film Studios through a family connection and his career path was born. After studying media, photography, television and film at North Oxfordshire School of Arts & Technical School in Banbury, he moved into variety work and gained his equity card whilst performing various interactive live theatre shows at Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures for The Tussaud’s Group. Jason has played various roles in touring theatrical productions including an Ugly Sister in ‘Cinderella’, the villain – Silas McNasty in ‘Red Riding Hood’ and the Genie in ‘Aladdin’.
Jason is an experienced live TV presenter, with over 1000 hours under his belt including ‘Haunted Halloween Live’ for ITV1 and ITV2. He has also presented various documentaries in recent years including two DVD series ‘Jason Karl’s High Spirits’ produced by Pure Productions and ‘Phenomena’ for Galaxi TV. In 2003 Jason presented a live segment on American television introducing ‘Diana – Spirit of a Princess’ – the controversial live television experiment to contact the ghost of Princess Diana, and made various appearances including Channel 4’s RI:SE and Optomen TV’s ‘The F**king Fulfords’, he also presented ‘Ghost Quest’ for Belgian Television.
Throughout 2005 Jason appeared as part of ‘Jason Karl’s Ghost Research Foundation’ live interactive events and also wrote a monthly column for ‘Prediction’ magazine, he now writes features for various journals including ‘Chat’ It’s Fate! His third book ‘Jason Karl’s Great Ghost Hunt’ was released by New Holland Publishers on October 31st 2004, his next book ‘The Haunted Places of Lancashire’ will be published by Countryside Books in October 2006. He has recently signed a book deal with New Holland Publishers for a further 2 titles, and a 5 book deal with Carnegie Publishers; these titles will hit the shops in late 2006 and throughout 2007.
Between 2004 and 2005 Jason was Creative Director of Pure TV Ltd. an independent television production company for whom he produced the 5 part ‘Spellbound’ mini series, ‘Spectre Inspectors’ – the world’s first psychic adventure gameshow which he also presented, and ‘Haunted Homes’ which he fronted with medium Marion Goodfellow. In July 2004 he produced ‘The TV Chef’ starring Julie Goodyear and Ken Morley, the show was recently screened at the Edinburgh Television Festival.
Jason is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists and British Actor’s Equity. In his spare time he collects rare Disney figurines and enjoys film, theatre and travelling. He lives in a Georgian farmhouse in rural Lancashire.
Overview Taken from www.talismantv.co.uk/jasonkarl
Interview with Paul & Mandy
Q: Hello Jason, firstly thank you for taking the time out to answer our questions today, and congratulations on the success of the BBC Radio Lancashire show The Ghost Zone. Can you tell us a little about the show and how it came about.
A: The show is part of a BBC Radio Lancashire programme which we have been recording at various locations over the last year, it’s a kind of documentary/investigation strand where I take a Medium or Sensitive to a haunted site to see what they can uncover.
Q: Your latest book Haunted Places In Lancashire, which ties in with the radio show, is all about places you have investigated in Lancashire with medium Veronica Charles. Would you like to tell us some of the highlights of the book and what was your favourite location and why?
A: The book has been incredibly well received locally and became a best seller very quickly. It was a great project to work on and we had lots of unusual encounters while undertaking the research. I particularly remember Hall I th Wood and Mains Hall as we experienced some very strange goings on!
Q: You have worked with a number of mediums/psychics during your years investigating the paranormal, including Derek Acorah. What is your view on the benefits of having a medium on a paranormal investigation, and who of all of them who would you say was the most impressive and why?
A: I don’t ‘rate’ mediums in line and therefore couldn’t answer this questionfully. I do think that any line of research should be taken, and mediumship is one of those, but as for saying who the ‘best’ mediums are, they are all different and have good and bad days like anyone else!
Q: In your book Jason Karl’s Great Ghost Hunt you cover in-depth your recommended method of investigation. Briefly for readers who are interested in taking the first steps into paranormal investigation what advice would you give them?
A: Join a reputable group! Don’t go it alone, and ensure you are fully equipped to undertake a serious study of the paranormal.
Q: As well as a paranormal investigator you are also well recognised as an accomplished actor. Do you feel this sometimes leads to speculation by the public you are acting as opposed to honestly reacting to something paranormal, and how do you handle that? After all the well publicised events that occurred with Most Haunted did spread some doubt on the integrity of paranormal investigation
A: I haven’t watched Most Haunted since I left, and although I have been informed about various bad press it has received, and approached by journalists for my own version and stories, I have decided not to comment at this stage. With regards to my career as an actor, the production team behind Most Haunted were well aware of my previous experience on TV, theatre and film before I signed up to the show.
Q: Of all the sites you have investigated over your career we must ask what’s the most memorable experience and why?
A: Wow, what a question! Having been to over 1000 haunted locations around the world I would hardly know where to start! I have fond memories of many places, each for a different reason, take a look at the chapter ‘Favourite Old Haunts’ in my third book – Jason Karl’s Great Ghost Hunt, to see my favourites!
Q: Reading many investigation reports there are always references to orbs and light anomalies, what’s your professional view towards them? Are they all purely reflections of light on dust? If not how do you distinguish between the two ?
A: I think in most instances these are caused by the presence of natural phenomena including dust and airborne moisture particles, however there have been a few instances where these explanations do not seem to have been the case.
Q: What have you ever experienced or caught on camera or film something that is beyond rational and scientific explanation?
A: I have some incredible things on film (forget orbs, strands of cobweb and shadows) including a full figure walking down a staircase.
Q: Is there anyone in the paranormal field today that you would like to work with on an investigation and why?
A: I occasionally make appearances on public ghost events and sometimes take part in groups investigations around the country but my career and home life (renovating a 18th century country house!) take precedence. I have been fortunate to meet and work with some passionate, creative and objective people over the years, and anyone who fits that description is welcome to approach me!
Q: Do you feel that the highlighted interest in the paranormal due to programmes such as Most Haunted and Dead Famous has been positive or detrimental to professional paranormal investigation and why ?
A: I think it has severely damaged the reputation of serious researchers, but on the other hand, it has highlighted the subject matter to a greater audience. Either way it is a fad, and will eventually die out, leaving the people that have been doing this for the last 50 years back in the driving seat again.
Q: Of the many paranormal programmes that are now on television which ones do you watch or rate ?
A: I very rarely watch television! I watched ‘Shameless’ last week as my friend was in it! And I do like Ugly Betty!
Q: We gather you have been commissioned to write a number of books over the next two years. Can you give us any inside information on what’s ‘instore’ for us?
A: Yes, I have a further three titles coming out in 2007. 21st Century Ghosts, a colour hardback. An Illustrated History of the Haunted World, a colour coffee table book, and Preston’s Haunted Heritage, a local title. I also have a further 4 books commissioned (which I can’t tell you about!) and a potential fifth which I am in discussions about at the moment.
Q: What else do you have planned for 2007, any plans for you to return to the TV screens in the paranormal field?
A: I am always open to offers of any kind, but primarily I am happy to be away from the paranormal field, I think its very easy to be stereotyped. I have recently been presenting for BBC Jam (Childrens) and QVC (the worlds largest shopping TV network).
Many thanks to Jason Karl for taking part in this interview, and we wish him every success with his new books.