CJ de Mooi

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CJ de Mooi
CJ de Mooi 2011 07 31.jpg
CJ de Mooi in 2011
Born Joseph Connagh
(1969-11-06) 6 November 1969 (age 46)
Barnsley, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Occupation Actor and television personality
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Website Official website

CJ de Mooi (pronounced [də moːi̯]; born Joseph Connagh, 6 November 1969) is a professional quizzer, best known as a panellist on the BBC television show Eggheads. He adopted the name de Mooi when modelling; he translates it as Dutch for "handsome", though the actual translation would be "the beautiful".

De Mooi appeared on a number of television quiz shows before Eggheads first aired in 2003, where he was one of five original members of the show's eponymous team. In December 2011, de Mooi announced he had left Eggheads permanently to pursue an acting career.[1] He appeared in broadcast episodes until August 2012 and was replaced on the show by Dave Rainford. However, he returned to a new, short-lived format of Eggheads in 2014 called Revenge of the Egghead.[2] He stated he returned because of his 'love of the show'.[3] He then returned to the main version of Eggheads replacing Daphne Fowler.

In 2016, Mooi was accused of sexual assault but was subsequently cleared.[4][5] In an interview with The Mirror de Mooi also mentioned that he had been axed from Eggheads and had re-located to South Africa, to pursue a career in acting.[5] In September 2016 he was arrested on suspicion of a homicide allegedly committed in 1988, under a European arrest warrant issued in the Netherlands, regarding claims made in de Mooi's autobiography.

Early life[edit]

De Mooi studied English and Performing Arts at Rotherham College of Arts and Technology[6] before embarking upon a modelling career in Germany which lasted for four and a half years.[7]

On a self-recorded YouTube video,[8] CJ claims to have had a highly abusive childhood, causing him to run away from home shortly after his seventeenth birthday and become homeless beginning in Rotherham and Sheffield. The video described how he travelled to London, jumped on a ferry to Amsterdam and later moved on to Cologne, where a chance encounter outside a gay bar led to the beginnings of his modelling career. De Mooi stated in his autobiography that in 1988 he may have killed a man who was attempting to mug him by punching and throwing him into a canal in Amsterdam.[9]



In 2000, de Mooi applied to several game and quiz shows as a contestant and stood out for being outspoken (his tirade when voted off The Weakest Link has been featured on the show's website, video and led to a 'bad losers show' which he eventually won). He has also appeared on numerous other quiz shows including Fifteen to One, Countdown, Beat the Nation, 100% and No Win, No Fee. He challenged six former professional snooker players during the 2010 World Snooker Championship to test his snooker knowledge against their knowledge of chosen specialist subjects. He won all but one round, John Parrott being the only player to get the better of him.

As part of the Cardiff Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Mardi Gras in March 2007, de Mooi acted as host of a quiz night.[10] He also hosted a quiz at the June 2010 conference of the British Humanist Association.[11] De Mooi has written a book entitled How to Win TV Quiz Shows.[6]


De Mooi was a club chess player from 1990 to 2009. At the peak his chess rating was 158 ECF, equivalent to Elo 1885.[12] In 2010 he was elected President of the English Chess Federation.[13]

In September 2010 he was very outspoken as a delegate to the FIDE (the World Chess Federation)'s presidential elections. De Mooi described the events, which saw Kirsan Ilyumzhinov re-elected over Anatoly Karpov, as "a farce of a vote", going on to declare: "You wouldn't believe the blatant breaking of rules and FIDE's written statutes. It's amazing. There wasn't even a pretence of fairness and free speech." According to de Mooi, Ilyumzhinov, the federation's president for 15 years, had refused to allow Karpov's supporters to address the general assembly meeting, but turned off their microphones and carried on speaking himself and ignored legal points raised from the floor, eventually storming off stage with the federation's ruling board.[14]


CJ moved into professional acting full-time in 2011 and has appeared in plays, musicals and pantomimes. In 2014, he performed in and produced two plays by Harvey Fierstein in London's West End and was then cast in the Lazarus Theatre productions of Troilus & Cressida and Coriolanus.[15] He also completed filming on his movie debut The Renata Road,[16] which is currently[when?] in the final stages of post production.

Personal life[edit]

According to de Mooi, he adopted his new name whilst modelling and is quoted as saying "I no longer wanted to be associated with my family". De Mooi translates from Dutch to mean to "the beautiful"; however it is also not an uncommon Dutch family name. He currently resides in Wales with his civil partner Andrew Doran.[17] De Mooi is teetotal and a vegetarian.[18][19]


De Mooi ran in the 2009 London Marathon raising money for Amnesty International.[20] He also competed in the 2012 London Marathon, completing with a time of 3 hours 16 minutes and 30 seconds.[21]

In 2015, he ran the London Marathon for Shooting Star CHASE, a children's hospice, finishing in 2 hours 58 minutes 30 seconds.[22]


On 21 September 2016, de Mooi was arrested at Heathrow Airport in connection with claims de Mooi made in his autobiography that he punched a mugger and threw him into a canal in Amsterdam in 1988, writing "He caught me on the wrong day and I just snapped … I fully suspect I killed him. I've no idea what happened to him." De Mooi was detained under a European arrest warrant issued in the Netherlands.[23][24]

Literature by CJ de Mooi[edit]

  • CJ de Mooi: How to win TV Quiz Shows. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 25 July 2013
  • CJ de Mooi: CJ: The Autobiography of CJ De Mooi: My Journey From the Streets to the Screens. John Blake Publishing Ltd., 3 September 2015.
  • CJ de Mooi and Mark Labbett: Quiz Like a Pro! Amazon Kindle, 6 June 2016.
  • CJ de Mooi: Dispersal. Amazon Kindle, 8 June 2016.


  1. ^ "CJ de Mooi". Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Revenge of the Egghead - BBC Two". 
  3. ^ CJ de Mooi (2 September 2013). "Why did I leave Eggheads?" – via YouTube. 
  4. ^ "Eggheads star 'sacked by BBC on SAME day he was cleared of assault'". 
  5. ^ a b Watts, Halina (6 May 2016). "BBC axed Eggheads star CJ De Mooi on same day he was cleared of sex assault". 
  6. ^ a b "C J de Mooi biography". Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Harrison, Rute (25 November 2008). "CJ De Mooi really is an egghead". FemaleFirst. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  8. ^ "CJ de Mooi on homelessness". Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Leon Watson (7 September 2015). "I think I killed a man, says Eggheads panellist". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Cardiff Mardi Gras celebrate Charlotte’s baby news Pink News, 12 April 2007
  11. ^ British Humanist Association Conference. Retrieved 29 June 2010
  12. ^ Based on the conversion formula used by the English Chess Federation[1], where Elo = (BCF × 7.5) + 100
  13. ^ ECF Officials English Chess Federation
  14. ^ Chess world shocked as Karpov fails to capture top job guardian.co.uk, 29 September 2010
  15. ^ "Spotlight: CONNAGH DE MOOI". 
  16. ^ Bar, Beyond The. "The Renata Road". 
  17. ^ Radio Times. BBC Magazines. Retrieved 7 August 2010
  18. ^ CJ de Mooi TV Lives
  19. ^ British Celebrity Vegetarians – CJ de Mooi Veggie Advisor
  20. ^ "Flora London Marathon 2009 Results". 
  21. ^ "Virgin London Marathon 2010". 
  22. ^ "Virgin Money London Marathon 2015". 
  23. ^ "Ex-Eggheads star CJ de Mooi in court over alleged killing". 22 September 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  24. ^ "Ex-Eggheads panellist in court over 'killing'". 

External links[edit]