JACK GRIFFITH speaks to TJ Higgs , the straight-talking psychic, about her talents and what audiences can expect from her European tour
TRACY 'TJ' Higgs is at the beginning of a 46-date tour that will see her performing at venues across the country, stopping over in Norway in August. She has created a successful television career, appearing with prominent mediums on various cable TV shows.
TJ teaches classes of loyal followers, eager to harness their clairvoyant abilities, and she had her first book published, Living with the Gift, last July.
It has been a meteoric rise for the mother-of-two from Enfield, who realised her clairvoyant abilities only in her mid-20s, after a childhood she now realises was not entirely normal.
She says: "When I was younger, I thought that the things that I saw and felt were just natural. I had no reason to question anything, because that was my reality.
"I could see people's energies - colours would emanate from them. I remember once seeing my dead great grandad sitting on the couch, and I started to cry when my mum sat on him!
"That's just how I was when I was a kid - my mum thought I was the spawn of the devil!"
It took a break-up and a chance visit to a psychic fair with a friend to kickstart what would become her life's work.
"I was dragged to the fair and, if I'm honest, I had the same sceptical attitude towards the scene that many people have - it was a bit like a cult.
"I was defensive about 'being read' at first, but the medium started giving personal details that he couldn't have known."
Since her first exposure to the world, she hasn't looked back. She says: "Something snapped into place and it dawned on me - it made sense why I couldn't be around a lot of people. I had been a little awkward and uncomfortable all my life.
"I feel like my life makes sense now. It has been put into some context."
Since becoming a professional medium in 2003, ditching her nine to five job as an accountant to pursue her true calling, she has performed to more than 250,000 people worldwide.
"I would like to think of myself as a modern psychic," says the self-styled 'comedium', whose shows combine probing readings that resonate with the audience, with lighthearted banter.
When asked about the messages she received, TJ says they come from all angles: "The spirit people usually stand behind me, and I often get names shouted in my ear which I will then relay on to the audience.
"Sometimes, songs will pop into my head, and I even get phone numbers coming through. It can be tough processing them all."
TJ has worked alongside prominent psychics such as Derek Acorah, and Colin Fry, who will joining her on tour in April. Both have found themselves at the centre of controversies in their careers, but TJ insists that the industry's bad name is largely unfounded.
"It does need to be governed in some way, but it is what we believe in. We shouldn't be made to feel bad about that. I would never ram it down anyone's throat, and all I would ask is that people approach it with an open mind. If you get something from it, great!
"I want to promote mediumship in a positive light, and give people the messages they have been longing for.
"To be able to give a message to a mother who has lost a child or someone who has lost a loved one, and to put a little bit of light back into their eyes - the feeling is just immeasurable."
**TJ Higgs is at the Beck Theatre, in Grange Road, Hayes, on Tuesday, April 6. Tickets cost £18.50. To book, and for more information, visit www.becktheatre.org.uk .