Host | Speaker
Expert Quiz host and speaker and best known from the long-running BBC quiz show Eggheads, CJ is also an accomplished actor, keen long distance runner, chess player and US history enthusiast.
Read more about C J de Mooi
From a very early age, C J de Mooi was fascinated by dinosaurs and dreamed of becoming a palaeontologist. However, that all changed at the age of 8 when he was chosen as the lead in his school's musical production called Rooster Rag and his love of entertaining was born. He became an active member of the Crucible and National Youth Theatres and over the next few years appeared in several plays and even a television movie before studying English and Performance Arts at college.
On the eve of his 20th birthday, and as German was the only foreign language he could speak at the time, CJ found himself in Cologne. His very first weekend resulted in the offer of a modelling contract with a local agency and he remained in the city for 5 years. A further year in Amsterdam was enough time to become fluent in Dutch before his return to the UK. In 2000, after feeling a little restless, CJ decided to apply to a few television game and quiz shows as a contestant. His first appearance on Pass the Buck was just short of mediocre but his next was an unexpected win on Fifteen to One. This was followed by what he thought would be his last show, The Weakest Link. Despite consistently being the strongest player he was the third voted off and launched into his now infamous rant in his post game interview. This obviously garnered some attention and the programme asked him back for a Bad Losers' Special which he won and then another 12 shows invited him to take part giving him free rein to exercise his general knowledge and somewhat forthrightness of opinion!
In January 2003 CJ received a phone call about a new concept for a quiz show called Eggheads. Intrigued by the idea of 5 quiz champions competing against different daily challengers, he went along to the read through and happily agreed to take part. However, with such a small percentage of shows even getting to the pilot stage, let alone to the heady heights of commissioning, he didn't expect anything further to develop. He was more than stunned by a second call in July advising him that not only had the new show been accepted, filming actually started in 3 weeks and he'd better get learning! Since then, Eggheads has become a phenomenon, being sold all over the world.
Such a long running successful programme gave C J de Mooi a popular public profile and after several years he decided to expand his horizons and move into other fields that had always held an interest for him. He was honoured to be elected as the President of the English Chess Federation in 2009 as he'd previously been an active player on the national tournament circuit including a couple of years where he played more games than anyone else in the country, winning the title of Mensa Chess Champion along the way. Competitive running was another ambition taken up and, never one to do things with less than total commitment, CJ now consistently enters half and full marathons with impressive results.
However, his underlying love remained acting and two pantomimes reignited his fire. His lead role performance in the 2011 short film The Renata Road gained good reviews and this spurred CJ to pursue this career path full time. Despite enjoying and appearing in all performing media, musical theatre remains his true passion. He's been vegetarian for 25 years and is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association. He has worked for several human rights and HIV charities but is particularly devoted to The Albert Kennedy Trust for whom he has arranged, and taken part in, several events. He has also been a spokesperson for gay equality and anti-bullying organisations and is keenly involved with animal welfare.
CJ freely admits to having been incredibly lucky and is delighted to enjoy and work for the wonderful opportunities he's been given. Acting has now of course become the major part of his professional life although he'll stay as an integral part of the continued success of Eggheads. He is looking forward to the surprises and challenges of the future and hopes you enjoy looking around his site and learning about him - after all, learning new things got CJ his career!
CJ de Mooi
Scandals of the US Presidents
Scandals of the UK monarchs