Friday Flashback: Doris Stokes

It was classic showbiz when UK medium Doris Stokes visited The Don Lane Show.

In the late 1970s, UK medium Doris Stokes became a runaway hit via The Don Lane Show, giving ‘readings’ to members of the studio audience. She made a number of appearances on the Nine show, many of which had people in tears and attracting extensive publicity.

Later it led to the infamous James Randi incident in which the US sceptic suggested Stokes was using various forms of deception for her performances. But Stokes had been good for the show and Randi’s argument was not about to have the last word. Don Lane walked off the set in fury (keep watching after Kevin Arnett clip).

Stokes crossed over to the other side herself in 1987 at the age of 67.

Evidence later emerged that at some of her live UK shows, Stokes had invited participants to attend, with a manager of the Palladium confirming she routinely booked the front three rows of the theatre for her own use.

Smoke, mirrors…. either way, it was classic showbiz.

6 Responses

  1. Doris Stokes was thoroughly exposed in a book by Ian Wilson, The After Death Experience, released just before her death. Wilson revealed how Stokes had plants to feed her stories at every single appearance (as stated above, filling the first three rows with “associates” in larger halls). She also employed accomplices to eavesdrop in the foyers of theatres to pick up random details from audience members that she could then drop into her “readings”. Claims that she helped police solve at least two murders were also totally denied by the police involved. It’s easy to dismiss Stokes as a showbiz magic act, but what she mostly did was exploit vulnerable, grieving relatives for her own financial gain, whether it was in private readings or public performances. In short, she was a despicable con artist.

    1. Doris Stokes and The Don Lane Show cracked me up. I was hoping for a post of Darlene Conley who played the original Sally Spectra on Bold and the Beautiful as the Flashback Friday post. The soap won’t be the same without Courtney Hope as she brought spark. Monday must be her last episode as Thomas and Shauna come back.

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