"An Egghead needs to know everything about something and something about everything - welcome to my world!"
Exclusive Interview With CJ de Mooi »
Interview by Jamie Miller
An ex-model whose no-nonsense attitude has seen him likened to a Bond villain, CJ de Mooi may not be your typical quiz player! But a quiz player he most certainly is: with an illustrious career spanning Fifteen to One to Countdown to his now eight year (yes, can you believe it?!) run as one of BBC's Eggheads.
And if that wasn't enough, CJ is also a MENSA chess champion, actor and humanitarian! As one of the biggest personalites in the quiz world, we had lots we wanted to ask him!
You are one of the youngest leading quiz players in the UK. How did you become the quiz player you are today in such a short time?
There are far better, far younger quizzers out there but I don't mention their names as I want to keep my job! I've always had a good memory (back to my chess playing days) and so I put in 4 years of very hard study to get up to speed, making sure I covered all the basics like capital cities, monarchs and classical literature.
You are known for speaking your mind and your infamous eye-rolling at contestants! What annoys you most about contestants on Eggheads?!
When we have contestants who've never heard of Albert Einstein (no really!) or don't know in which century the Great Fire of London was, I have to wonder why they've chosen Eggheads to appear on. Perhaps Deal or no Deal or Love Island would be more suited to their intellectual capabilities?
What are the other Eggheads REALLY like? Is there ever any playful rivalry?
I get on very well with Kevin and especially Daphne. Her and I incessantly tease each other about 'easy' questions we get wrong
You once attributed some of your trivia knowledge to 'The Simpsons'. Are there any other unusual sources you derive some of your general knowledge from, and what are your interests when you are not quizzing?
I'm President of the English Chess Federation which takes up a lot of time even though I no longer play. I work for a lot of charities, primarily HIV, gay equality and homelessness but my main interest now is acting. I've done panto for a couple of years, have just completed a new film, am in a musical this summer and have a few things lined up. My Thespian tendencies must be recognised!
As an Egghead, do you have to revise general knowledge daily? At the risk of helping future contestants (!), are there any subjects you hate revising?
I no longer revise daily but have trained my memory now that if I see something I think is important, I can instantly remember it. It's fairly well known I dislike sport although I'm okay on golf and F1, very good on tennis and an expert on snooker - everything else, just hopeless.
Have you ever used your quizzing abilities to win money on a pub quiz machine?
I distrust quizzing machines as quite often I've found them with wrong answers (deliberate to ensure no winners perhaps?) or it's just pointless frippery. I deal in general knowledge - not trivia or specialist knowledge (as in University Challenge)
An Egghead needs to know everything about something and something about everything - welcome to my world!
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Interesting fact »
CJ once challenged six former snooker champions to test his snooker knowledge against their specialist knowledge - and won all but one round!
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