Eggheads (TV series)

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Eggheads titles.jpg
Genre Game show
Format Quiz show
Presented by Dermot Murnaghan (2003–)
Jeremy Vine (2008–) (second half of each series)
Starring Kevin Ashman
Chris Hughes
Judith Keppel
CJ de Mooi (2003–12, 2014–)
Barry Simmons (2008–)
Pat Gibson (2009–)
Dave Rainford (2012–)
Lisa Thiel (2015–)
Daphne Fowler (2003–14)[1]
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series

14 (Regular)

6 (Celebrity Specials)
No. of episodes

1255 (Regular) (as of 5 May 2014)

56 (Celebrity Specials (as of 20 December 2013) (Celebrity Specials)
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) 12 Yard
BBC Scotland (2010–)
Distributor ITV Studios
Original channel BBC One (2003–4)
BBC Two (2005–)
Picture format 16:9
Original run 10 November 2003 (2003-11-10) – present
Related shows Are You an Egghead?
Revenge of the Egghead

Eggheads is a BBC quiz show which pits a team of five "Eggheads" (made up from seven highly regarded quiz and game show champions, rotating each episode) against a series of teams of five "challengers" who in each episode attempt to beat the Eggheads through a series of rounds.

The program was first broadcast in 2003, and co-presented by Dermot Murnaghan and Jeremy Vine. For the 2008 series, Jeremy Vine was brought in to present on nights when Murnaghan was hosting the spinoff series Are You an Egghead?. This happened again from October 2009 while Murnaghan presented the second series of the spinoff show.[2] Since the spin-off show finished, Jeremy Vine has continued to host the series. Episodes generally air weekdays. Since February 2014, Jeremy also presents the other Egghead spinoff series Revenge of the Egghead.



The show is played in five rounds: the first four are each on a specific category whilst the final round is a general knowledge round. In each of these first four rounds, the Challengers are given a category and must choose a member of their own team to play and an Egghead against whom they wish to compete. The players for that round then leave the studio to go into the "question room" outside (which in 2009, was reported by the Daily Telegraph actually to be a pair of wooden benches behind a curtain). The challenger is given the choice of going first or second, and both players are then asked in turn three questions each, which have multiple choice answers. If after these three questions there is no winner, the round then goes into sudden death with each question now having no possible answers given.

The player who wins each round is then eligible to play in the final round whilst the losing players have to sit in their respective "question rooms" and are not allowed to participate in the final general knowledge round.

The general knowledge round is then played in exactly the same format as the head-to-head rounds, and now gives the challengers the opportunity to win the prize money. If the Eggheads win the final round, the prize money increases by a "rollover" system with another £1,000 added to the prize each day.


There are nine possible subjects in the head-to-head rounds: Arts & Books, Film & Television, Food & Drink, Geography, History, Music, Politics, Science, and Sport. Music and Film & Television were introduced in Autumn 2008 through a split of the Entertainment category. Subjects can appear in any order.


The quiz champions who compete on the show as the titular "Eggheads" are:

  • Kevin Ashman (2003–present): Eight times winner of British Quiz Championship, six times winner of European Quizzing Championships, four times winner of World Quizzing Championships, 1989 winner of Fifteen to One, 1999 winner of Fifteen to One: Champion of Champions, 1995 Mastermind (including all-time record score), 1996 Brain of Britain (including all-time record score), 1998 Brain of Britain: Brain of Brains, 1998 Brain of Britain: Top Brain, ten times Brain of London, twice Gold Medallist for quizzing at the Mind Sports Olympiad, two times Master Brain, winner of Sale of the Century, Quiz Night, Trivial Pursuit and The Great British Quiz. Captain of the England quiz team and ranked the number one quizzer in the world.[citation needed]
  • CJ de Mooi (2003–2012, Revenge: 2014–present): 2002 Beat the Nation, 2001 winner of 100% and 2000 contestant of The Weakest Link as well as having been Mensa chess champion.[3] He "tweeted" that he would not be in the Series 13 recordings of the show from 2012, in order that he pursues a full-time acting career. However, he continued to appear in Series 13 episodes of the show until Vine took over presenting duties from Murnaghan halfway through the series. His last appearance on the show was on 31 August 2012. On 29 August 2013, Eggheads producer Robert Dean announced on Twitter that CJ would be returning to the Eggheads team.[4] CJ is the sole 'Egghead' on Revenge of the Egghead, which began airing on 24 February 2014.
  • Daphne Fowler (2003–present): 2001 winner of Fifteen to One, 1997 Brain of Britain and 1988 winner of Going for Gold.
  • Chris Hughes (2003–present): 1983 Mastermind, International Mastermind and 2005 Brain of Britain.
  • Judith Keppel (2003–present): first British winner of £1,000,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
  • Barry Simmons (2008–present): winner of Are You an Egghead?, semi-finalist on Mastermind, 2013 champion of Brain of Britain, £64,000 winner on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, winning member 2006 Masterteam and now member of the Scotland Quiz Team.
  • Pat Gibson (2009–present): winner of Are You an Egghead? Series 2, two times winner (2007, 2010) of British Quiz Championship, three times winner (2007, 2010, 2011) of World Quizzing Championships, 2005 winner of Mastermind, 2010 winner of Mastermind: Champion of Champions, 2006 winner of Brain of Britain, £1,000,000 winner on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, amassing 21 international quizzing medals, and ranked the second strongest quizzer in the UK, behind Kevin Ashman.[citation needed]
  • Dave Rainford (2012–present) A previous contestant on Are You An Egghead and £250,000 winner on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, nicknamed "Tremendous Knowledge".

Sixth, seventh and eighth Eggheads[edit]

In May 2008, auditions began for a sixth person to join the Eggheads team.[2][5][6] These auditions were developed into a spin-off show, Are You an Egghead?, presented by Dermot Murnaghan. This began airing on BBC2 on 20 October 2008.[7] On 2 December 2008, Barry Simmons, who had once been a contestant on the regular show, won the Are You an Egghead? final and became the sixth Egghead. He made his first appearance on the team on the regular show the same day. Since the addition of Simmons as an Egghead, the Eggheads team has operated on a rotating basis, still featuring five Eggheads (out of the six or seven) per show.

Pat Gibson won the second series of Are You an Egghead? and became the seventh Egghead to join the team, as of 25 November 2009. His first appearance as an Egghead was on the Celebrity Eggheads show on 7 December 2009.

Dave Rainford made his debut on 27 September 2012, replacing CJ De Mooi. He was previously seen on Are You an Egghead? in both series. In Series 1 he was beaten in the semi-finals by Barry and, in Series 2, he was beaten in the quarter-finals by David Edwards.

Teams who have defeated the Eggheads[edit]

On February 6th 2014, for the 105th time in 1234 episodes, the Eggheads were defeated by Business Belles who won the prize fund of £6,000.[8] The BBC have now paid out a total of £1,234,000 in prize money.

The highest amount any team has won to beat the Eggheads is £75,000 in Series 8, Episode 14 by Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow.[9]

Team name Episode Prize money Cumulative (at end of each Series) Notes
Unicorn Inn Series 1, Episode 13 £13,000
Folically Challenged Series 1, Episode 15 £2,000
Unlikely Lads Series 1, Episode 21 £6,000 £21,000
Streatham Massive Series 2, Episode 10 £19,000
Spaghetti Series 2, Episode 30 £20,000 £60,000
The Rotor Heads Series 3, Episode 21 £21,000 £81,000
Densa Series 4, Episode 11 £20,000
Wapping Black Sheep Series 4, Episode 14 £3,000 £104,000
Radio Ga Ga Series 5, Episode 6 £17,000 £121,000
Second Class Series 6, Episode 3 £37,000
Mancunian Candidates Series 6, Episode 10 £7,000
Russell's Raiders Series 6, Episode 14 £4,000 £169,000
West Yorkies Series 7, Episode 18 £29,000
Seville Servants Series 7, Episode 19 £1,000 £199,000 #1 Eggheads lose twice in a row
Beer today, Gone tomorrow Series 8, Episode 14 £75,000 Biggest win on the show so far
Preston Quizmasters Series 8, Episode 17 £3,000
Museum of London/Museum in Docklands team Series 8, Episode 50 £33,000
Taxidermists Series 8, Episode 51 £1,000 #2 Eggheads lose twice in a row
Blue Vibe Series 8, Episode 63 £12,000
Beer and Skittles Series 8, Episode 68 £5,000 £328,000
Weakly Players Series 9, Episode 15 £27,000
Sean and the Sheep Series 9, Episode 35 £20,000
Tap Heads Series 9, Episode 48 £13,000
The Rat Pack Series 9, Episode 54 £5,000 Eggheads lose to a single opponent for the first time
Lads Wot Lunch Series 9, Episode 65 £12,000
South Wales Warriors Series 9, Episode 70 £5,000
Loser's Corner Series 9, Episode 76 £6,000
Meet your Waterloo Series 9, Episode 83 £7,000 #2 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
Flexi Funksters Series 9, Episode 99 £16,000 #3 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
Cubbington Players Series 9, Episode 112 £13,000
Act One Series 9, Episode 120 £8,000 Final team to play (and defeat) the original set of 5 Eggheads
Bere Heads Series 9, Episode 145 £25,000
The Abbey Revellers Series 9, Episode 146 £1,000 #3 Eggheads lose twice in a row
The Bald & The Beautiful Series 9, Episode 152 £6,000
Eclectic Mix Series 9, Episode 159 £7,000 £499,000
The Oxford Imps Series 10, Episode 2 £3,000
Chummie Brummies Series 10, Episode 31 £29,000
One Sense Less Series 10, Episode 54 £23,000 Team made up of profoundly deaf contestants
The Midweek Marauders Series 10, Episode 64 £10,000
Beached Boys Series 10, Episode 66 £2,000
Sally Warboys Series 10, Episode 69 £3,000
The Hanging Gale Series 10, Episode 82 £13,000
The Cartoonists Series 10, Episode 91 £9,000 The first team with all five challengers to win the final round against a single Egghead (Kevin).
Insight Radio Series 10, Episode 92 £1,000 #4 Eggheads lose twice in a row and #4 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
Ocean's Five Series 10, Episode 93 £1,000 #1 Eggheads lose three times in a row
Bognor Regis + 2 Series 10, Episode 94 £1,000 #1 Eggheads lose four times in a row
The Eggitors Series 10, Episode 98 £4,000
Pembroke Globetrotters Series 10, Episode 115 £17,000
PRS Plus Series 10, Episode 121 £6,000 £621,000
The Wise Owls Series 11, Episode 3 £37,000 The team donated their winnings to the Sussex Wildlife Trust[10]
Work I.T. Out Series 11, Episode 5 £2,000
Shabba Series 11, Episode 35 £30,000 #5 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
The Black & White Stripes Series 11, Episode 52 £17,000
Loiners by Proxy Series 11, Episode 57 £5,000
The Middleton Moonrakers Series 11, Episode 58 £1,000 #7 Eggheads lose twice in a row
Scrum 5 Series 11, Episode 72 £14,000
Comedy of Errors Series 11, Episode 75 £3,000 #6 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
Glamorgan Poppies Series 11, Episode 86 £11,000
The Apple Turnovers Series 11, Episode 93 £7,000
Get It With Letters Series 11, Episode 122 £29,000
Chessboxers Series 11, Episode 124 £2,000
The Flying Doctors Series 11, Episode 130 £6,000 #7 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
Lancashire Hotpots Series 11, Episode 141 £11,000 #8 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
Bar 5 Series 11, Episode 157 £16,000 £812,000
Living by Numbers Series 12, Episode 6 £9,000
Culture Vultures Series 12, Episode 24 £18,000
Who Cares Wins Series 12, Episode 38 £14,000
The Internal Marketeers Series 12, Episode 63 £25,000
Chad Acad Series 12, Episode 66 £3,000
Cornish Monkeys Series 12, Episode 72 £6,000 Team donate money to Wild Futures, primate welfare and conservation charity
Millennium Marvels Series 12, Episode 84 £12,000
Loose Connection Series 12, Episode 85 £1,000 #8 Eggheads lose twice in a row
She Who Must Be Obeyed Series 12, Episode 91 £6,000
The Tramlines Series 12, Episode 96 £5,000 One team member, Max Thomson, killed himself two days after this episode aired.
The Lions' Den Series 12, Episode 97 £1,000 #9 Eggheads lose twice in a row
5 A Day Series 12, Episode 124 £27,000
Blackpool Rockers Series 12, Episode 141 £17,000
The Five Marketeers Series 12, Episode 145 £4,000 #9 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
The Brocketeers Series 12, Episode 149 £4,000 £964,000
The Royal Harmonics Series 13, Episode 12 £23,000
Dobbin Series 13, Episode 19 £7,000
Shelford 5 Series 13, Episode 22 £3,000
The Wonderyears Series 13, Episode 30 £8,000 Marks the point when over £1,000,000 has been paid out in prize money since the show first started.
Phoenix Nights Series 13, Episode 37 £7,000
The Bell Boys Series 13, Episode 38 £1,000 #10 Eggheads lose twice in a row
A Tale of Two Families Series 13, Episode 41 £3,000
Bucks Quiz Series 13, Episode 44 £3,000
The Melting Pot Series 13, Episode 47 £3,000
Lightning Can Strike Twice Series 13, Episode 53 £6,000 #10 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
The Family Connection Series 13, Episode 65 £12,000
Dad's Army Series 13, Episode 83 £18,000 #11 Eggheads lose to a single opponent
The Hole in the Wall Gang Series 13, Episode 85 £2,000
UNOS Series 13, Episode 89 £4,000
The Quad Runners Series 13, Episode 118 £29,000 #12 Eggheads lose to a single opponent.
Handel with Care Series 13, Episode 120 £2,000 Team donated winnings to Southampton Choral Society.
Team Scotia Series 13, Episode 136 £16,000 £1,111,000
Two and a Half Tandems Series 14, Episode 22 £26,000 Team donated winnings to Life Cycle UK.
Bright Sparks Series 14, Episode 33 £11,000
Streetwise Series 14, Episode 49 £16,000
The Business Men Series 14, Episode 90 £41,000 2nd highest amount won by a challenging team. #13 Eggheads lose to a single opponent. 100th team to defeat the Eggheads.
The Crooked Spires Series 14, Episode 95 £5,000 £1,210,000
The Clevelanders Series 14, Episode 106 £11,000
Beer Run Quizzers Series 14, Episode 108 £2,000
Doctors' Notes Series 14, Episode 113 £5,000
Business Belles Series 14, Episode 119 £6,000 £1,234,000

Revenge of the Egghead[edit]

On 24 February 2014, a new spin-off series of Eggheads was launched called Revenge of the Egghead. It is presented by Jeremy Vine and saw the return of CJ de Mooi, who left Eggheads in 2012. In each episode, de Mooi faces a team of five contestants hoping to win thousands of pounds.

Main game[edit]

Each contestant, in turn, is asked a general knowledge question. If their answer is right, £200 is added to the prize fund but if their answer is wrong and de Mooi knows their answer is wrong, he presses a red button in front of him to answer the same question. If he gets it wrong and the contestant gets it right, an additional £100 is added to the prize fund. If he gets it right, the contestant is asked a multiple-choice question by de Mooi. If they get it right, gameplay continues as normal but if they get it wrong, they lose one of their two lives. If a contestant loses both of their lives, they are out of the game. When time runs out, the surviving players move on to the final round, along with the total number of lives remaining for all players, for a chance to win an equal share of the prize fund.

Final round[edit]

The final round starts out with de Mooi answering ten general knowledge questions. The number of questions he gets right becomes the target that the team has to beat. The team can confer on every question. Every wrong answer means that the team loses one of their lives and if they lose all of their lives, they leave with nothing but if they beat the target, they win an equal share of the prize fund.

Celebrity Eggheads[edit]

On 15 December 2008, a special edition of Eggheads began, airing 5 shows of Celebrity Eggheads, ending on 19 December 2008 presented by Dermot Murnaghan.

On 7 December 2009, 10 more editions of Celebrity Eggheads began. These were also the first shows to feature Pat Gibson, the seventh Egghead. The first nine episodes aired on consecutive weekdays, with the tenth episode airing later in March 2010.

From 13 December 2010, 10 Celebrity Eggheads episodes were aired for a third series.

Then, from 12 to 23 December 2011, including a show on Sunday 18 December, the format returned for a fourth series.

From 10 to 21 December 2012, a further ten episodes aired.[11]

From 9 December 2013, a further ten episodes were scheduled.


Series Start date End date Episodes Host Eggheads Landmark
Series Cumulative
1 10 November 2003 19 December 2003 30 30 Dermot Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith
2 6 September 2004 16 November 2004 30 60 Dermot Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith
3 23 May 2005 7 November 2005 30 90 Dermot Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith
4 8 November 2005 12 December 2005 25 115 Dermot Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith 100th episode on 22 November 2005
5 10 April 2006 6 June 2006 40 155 Dermot Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith
6 25 September 2006 5 March 2007 25 180 Dermot Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith
7 6 March 2007 10 September 2007 80 260 Dermot Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith 250th episode on 27 August 2007
8 11 September 2007 28 February 2008 80 340 Dermot Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith
9 29 February 2008 23 March 2009 160 500 Dermot (Episodes 1–80)
Jeremy (Episodes 81–160)
Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin, Judith and Barry Barry's debut on 2 December 2008
500th episode on 23 March 2009
10 24 March 2009 26 February 2010 155 655 Dermot (Episodes 1–75)
Jeremy (Episodes 76–155)
Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin, Judith and Barry 600th episode on 11 November 2009
11 1 March 2010 6 April 2011 160 815 Dermot (Episodes 1–80)
Jeremy (Episodes 81–160)
Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin, Judith, Barry and Pat Pat's debut on 1 March 2010
750th episode on 26 October 2010
12 7 April 2011 13 April 2012 160 975 Dermot (Episodes 1–80)
Jeremy (Episodes 81–160)
Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin, Judith, Barry and Pat
13 16 April 2012 14 March 2013 140 1115 Dermot (Episodes 1–60)
Jeremy (Episodes 61–140)
Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin, Judith, Barry, Pat and Dave 1,000th episode on 18 May 2012
CJ's final episode on 31 August 2012
Dave's debut on 27 September 2012
14 9 April 2013 5 May 2014 140 1255 Dermot (Episodes 1–60)
Jeremy (Episodes 61–140)
Chris, Daphne, Kevin, Judith, Barry, Pat and Dave 1,250th episode on 28 April 2014


External links[edit]