TO her mother, she was a devil, to her audiences she is an angel. T J Higgs is known as the world’s foremost psychic medium and she is appearing at two Sussex venues to showcase her natural, unique and accurate presentation.

TV star T J – aka Tracy – uses her special gift to carry out psychic readings, where she reads into life incidents to “look at all aspects of your life and where you are on your life path”, and medium readings, where she connects people to loved ones in the spirit world.

“What surprises people about me is that I’m so normal,” laughs Tracy, who is described as “a thoroughly modern medium”. “It does throw a lot of people. You are playing with people’s lives and you have to be honest. I can be too honest, a bit like Simon Cowell, and some people have a problem with that. Yes, it is difficult giving people the truth but I’m very professional and I know how to tell them. I don’t need any gimmicks.”

Tracy is appearing at The Capitol Horsham on February 22, and in March she will appear at The Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne as well as a Psychic Weekend event at the Queens Hotel in Eastbourne.

Above and main picture: T J Higgs

Below: T J Higgs with Colin Fry (right) and Derek Acorah

As well as private readings, London-born Tracy has worked all over the world, including America, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, Denmark and Japan, and starred in Psychic Private Eyes for Zone Reality, which she filmed at the same time as investigating murders and missing people cases for CBS Reality Television. She’s appeared on Destiny TV, ITV3’s The X-tra Factor and on Sky Living’s Colin Fry Live with TJ Higgs, and co-presented The Three Mediums theatre show as well as annual UK tour.

She found fame after investigating the murder of model Sally Anne Bowman, who was killed in Croydon in 2005, with fellow mediums Colin Fry and Tony Stockwell on TV.

But she doesn’t let her success go to her head. “I’m very proud of myself for not taking everything for granted,” she says. “I feel grateful. And I feel lucky.”

Tracy has always known she is psychic. “I was born psychic but I didn’t realise it,” she explains. “Everybody is psychic, but to a varying degree. As a medium, I’m always in contact with spirits. A medium can only talk to someone if they’re there – it’s like a Rolodex or now Google, if you like.

“I didn’t realise other people couldn’t see and sense and feel what I could. I grew up thinking that other people are stupid because they couldn’t see what I could. So I shut it down.”

Her first experience with spirits was as a little girl, after the death of her “Pops”, as she called her grandfather. She “see” him sitting in the living room, but others couldn’t and she screamed when they sat in the same chair because she thought they were sitting on him.

Family reaction to her gift was “not good”, she says. “To my mother, a Catholic, I was a devil and my nan used to tell me I have second sight. I was told to not speak like this. I did not have a very good childhood because Mum was drunk – she was not a very good start to life.”

Tracy chronicled her childhood story in her 2009 book Living With The Gift, which explains how, after “shutting down” her psychic abilities because of her troubled childhood, she was finally able to embrace it.

“I was married and pregnant with my first child when I was 17, and had my second at 22. But having a gift like this is not good for relationships.

“When I was 26, I went on a trip to Covent Garden in London and saw a girl doing palmistry – she read my hand and knew everything. She told me about childhood. She just read me and I thought I could do this.

“So I started to read palms and I left home six months later. After attending an Open University summer school, I told a woman about her life and it was like an awakening.”

At 30, she met fellow mediums and mentors Colin Fry and Tony Stockwell, when Colin “took her under his wing and out into the world, literally” and she toured with them, bringing “a touch of girl power to the stage”.

It led to her TV work, when she began to use her initials T J “because it sounded American”, and secured her a large and loyal fan base that propelled her to national and international fame. Her bubbly personality and hands-on approach increased her popularity.

“I wouldn’t go back and wish for perfect parents and a perfect life because I’m helping people now,” she says. “That girl from my childhood is not here any more.”

T J Higgs appears at:

The Capitol Horsham, North Street, Horsham, at 7.30pm on Thursday February 22. Tickets £21. Phone 01403 750220 or visit thecapitolhorsham.com.

The Royal Hippodrome Theatre, 108-112 Seaside Road, Eastbourne, at 8pm on Friday March 2. Tickets £20. Phone 01323 802020 or visit royalhippodrome.com.

Psychic Weekend with T J Higgs and Friends, Queens Hotel, Marine Parade, Eastbourne, from Friday-Monday March 2-5 from 10am-3pm. Visit tjhiggs.com.