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
(1969-11-05) 5 November 1969 (age 45)
Barnsley, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor and television personality
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Official website

CJ de Mooi (pronounced [də moːi̯]; born Joseph Connagh, 5 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 man", though a more literal translation would be "the beautiful".

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. He returned to a new format of Eggheads in 2014 called Revenge of the Egghead.[2] He has stated he returned because of his 'love of the show'.[3] He has since returned to the main version of Eggheads replacing Daphne Fowler.

Early life[edit]

De Mooi studied English and Performing Arts at Rotherham College of Arts and Technology[4] before embarking upon a modelling career in Germany which lasted for four and a half years.[5]

On a self-recorded YouTube video,[6] 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 before travelling to London, and eventually jumping on a ferry to Amsterdam and later moving on to Cologne, where a chance encounter outside a gay bar led to the beginnings of his modelling career.



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.[7] He also hosted a quiz at the June 2010 conference of the British Humanist Association.[8] De Mooi has written a book entitled How to Win TV Quiz Shows.[4]


De Mooi was a club chess player from 1990 to 2009. At the peak his chess rating was 158 ECF. In 2010 he was elected President of the English Chess Federation.[9]

In September 2010 he was very outspoken as a delegate to the FIDE 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, FIDE's president for 15 years, had refused to allow Karpov's supporters to address FIDE's 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 FIDE's ruling board.[10]


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.[11] He also completed filming on his movie debut The Renata Road,[12] which is scheduled for cinema release in 2015.

Personal life[edit]

CJ de Mooi is not de Mooi's birth name: he had it changed by deed poll at age 19 and is quoted as saying "I no longer wanted to be associated with my family". De Mooi resides in Wales with his civil partner Andrew Doran.[13] De Mooi is teetotal and a vegetarian.[14][15]


De Mooi ran in the 2009 Flora London Marathon raising money for Amnesty International.[16] He also competed in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon, completing with a time of 3 hours 16 minutes and 30 seconds.[17]

In 2015, he ran the London Marathon for Shooting Star CHASE, a children's hospice finishing in 2 hours 58 minutes 30 seconds [18]


External links[edit]