CJ de Mooi

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CJ de Mooi
CJ de Mooi 2011 07 31.jpg
De Mooi in 2011
Born (1969-11-05) 5 November 1969 (age 49)
Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England
OccupationActor and television personality
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[citation needed]
WebsiteOfficial website

CJ de Mooi (pronounced [də moːi̯], also known as Connagh Joseph De Mooi, born 5 November 1969)[1] is a British professional quizzer, best known for his time as a panellist on the BBC Television show Eggheads. He adopted the name de Mooi when he began working as a model; he translates it as Dutch for "handsome", though the actual translation would be "the pretty".

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.[2] 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.[3] He stated he returned because of his 'love of the show'.[4] He then returned to the main version of Eggheads replacing Daphne Fowler.

In 2016, Mooi was accused of sexual assault but was subsequently cleared.[5][6] In an interview with the Daily 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.[6] 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 reported to have been made in his autobiography.

Early life[edit]

External video
CJ de Mooi on homelessness, 15:49, August 15, 2013[7]
2016, CJ de Mooi, 8:26, December 16, 2016[8] Material about Wikipedia begins at 4:37

In his autobiography, de Mooi states that he was given the names Andrew Paul at his birth, in Barnsley, Yorkshire. He moved to Rotherham in his childhood, and attended a local comprehensive school.[1] De Mooi studied English and Performing Arts at Rotherham College of Arts and Technology[2] before embarking upon a modelling career in Germany which lasted for four and a half years.[9]

On a self-recorded YouTube video,[10] 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 describes 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 was reported to have 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.[11][12]



In 2000 de Mooi applied to several game and quiz television 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.[13] He also hosted a quiz at the June 2010 conference of the British Humanist Association.[14] In 2013 De Mooi published his first book, entitled How to Win TV Quiz Shows.[2]


De Mooi was a club chess player from 1990 to 2009, representing Hammersmith Chess Club in West London.[15] At the peak his chess rating was 158 ECF, equivalent to Elo 1885.[16] In 2010 he was elected President of the English Chess Federation.[17]

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.[18]


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 and Cressida and Coriolanus.[19] He also completed filming on his movie debut, a 9-minute short entitled The Renata Road,[20] which was filmed in 2011 and put out on release in 2014[21] with a showing at Cannes International Film Festival in 2015.[22]

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".[citation needed] De Mooi translates from Dutch to mean "the pretty"; it is not an uncommon Dutch family name. He currently[when?] resides in Wales with his civil partner Andrew Doran.[23] De Mooi is teetotal and a vegetarian of over 3 decades, in April 2018 he announced on Twitter he was going vegan.[24][25]


De Mooi ran in the 2009 London Marathon raising money for Amnesty International.[26] He also competed in the 2012 London Marathon, completing with a time of 3 hours 16 minutes and 30 seconds.[27]

In 2015 he ran in the London Marathon for Shooting Star CHASE, a children's hospice, finishing in 2 hours 58 minutes 30 seconds.[28]


On 21 September 2016, de Mooi was arrested at Heathrow Airport in connection with claims, which he had reportedly made in his autobiography, that in 1988 he had punched a drug-addicted mugger and thrown him into a canal in Amsterdam.[29] De Mooi was detained under a European Arrest Warrant issued in the Netherlands.[30][31] A judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court declined the extradition request on technical grounds, on 24 October 2016, saying that no UK arrest warrant had been issued.[32]



  1. ^ a b CJ de Mooi, CJ - The Autobiography of CJ de Mooi, John Blake Publishing, 2015, chapters 1-2
  2. ^ a b c "CJ de Mooi". Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Revenge of the Egghead - BBC Two".
  4. ^ CJ de Mooi (2 September 2013). "Why did I leave Eggheads?" – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "Eggheads star 'sacked by BBC on SAME day he was cleared of assault'". 2016-05-07.
  6. ^ a b Watts, Halina (6 May 2016). "BBC axed Eggheads star CJ De Mooi on same day he was cleared of sex assault".
  7. ^ Purcival, Ashley (September 7, 2015). "'Eggheads' Star CJ De Mooi Reveals Fears He May Have Killed A Man, While Living Homeless In Amsterdam 20 Years Ago". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  8. ^ Bullen, Jamie (December 17, 2016). "CJ de Mooi claims arrest warrant over alleged Amsterdam killing 'was based on fake Wikipedia entry'". Evening Standard. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  9. ^ Harrison, Rute (25 November 2008). "CJ De Mooi really is an egghead". FemaleFirst. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  10. ^ "CJ de Mooi on homelessness". Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  11. ^ Leon Watson (7 September 2015). "I think I killed a man, says Eggheads panellist". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  12. ^ Benedictus, Leo (7 September 2015). "Will Egghead CJ de Mooi regret admitting he might have killed somebody?". The Guardian. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Cardiff Mardi Gras celebrate Charlotte’s baby news Pink News, 12 April 2007
  14. ^ British Humanist Association Conference Archived 29 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 29 June 2010
  15. ^ "A Brief History of Hammersmith Chess Club - Hammersmith Chess Club".
  16. ^ Based on the conversion formula used by the English Chess Federation[1], where Elo = (BCF × 7.5) + 100
  17. ^ ECF Officials English Chess Federation
  18. ^ Chess world shocked as Karpov fails to capture top job guardian.co.uk, 29 September 2010
  19. ^ "Spotlight: Connagh de Mooi".
  20. ^ "The Renata Road". Beyond the Bar.
  21. ^ "Lancashire International Film Festival" (PDF). uclan.ac.uk. 4.30-5.30 Ed Greenberg. p. 2. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  22. ^ Barnes, Jo (1 May 2015). "Quiz expert set to host quiz at city business club". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  23. ^ Radio Times. BBC Magazines. Retrieved 7 August 2010
  24. ^ CJ de Mooi TV Lives
  25. ^ British Celebrity Vegetarians – CJ de Mooi Veggie Advisor
  26. ^ "Flora London Marathon 2009 Results".
  27. ^ "Virgin London Marathon 2010".
  28. ^ "Virgin Money London Marathon 2015".
  29. ^ "Eggheads panelist arrested on suspicion of murder". TV Tonight. 22 September 2016.
  30. ^ "Ex-Eggheads star CJ de Mooi in court over alleged killing". BBC News. 22 September 2016 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  31. ^ "Ex-Eggheads panellist in court over 'killing'".
  32. ^ Johnston, Chris (24 October 2016). "Former-Eggheads-star CJ de Mooi Should Not Be Extradited, Court Rules". The Guardian – via www.theguardian.com.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
President of the English Chess Federation
2010 - 2012
Succeeded by
Roger Edwards