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Revenge of the Egghead

March 26th, 2014 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

When people my age hear the name CJ the first thing that pops into our head is “I didn’t get where I am today”, but that is closely followed by the bloke who used to be on Eggheads and then wasn’t. I stopped watching Eggheads a while ago for no particular reason but last week I noticed something called Revenge of the Egghead on the EPG and decided to watch it.

It turns out to be CJ de Mooie pitted against 5 contestants in a way that sounds complicated when it is first explained but is actually not that complicated after all. I wondered if different eggheads took turns on the show but it looks like it is always CJ, and after a couple of shows it becomes apparent why: the others would be too modest for it.

After leaving Eggheads I had heard that CJ was doing pantomime and in ROTE he does make a very good pantomime villian. On the original programme he came across as annoying, but in the new one he has developed into a complete hate figure full of arrogance, condescension, disdain and smugness. Which, of course, makes it very watchable, although Jayne can’t stand to watch it because of him.

The other day I caught a bit of University Challenge and it occured to me that a programme which featured Jeremy Paxman asking questions of CJ would probably be a sight to see. You wouldn’t know which side to take.

This evening I rather spoilt everything by looking CJ up on Wikipedia and finding that he may not be as much of a despicable git as he makes himself out to be – little things like running the London Marathon to raise money for Amnesty International and involvement in HIV charities.

The biography on his own website has a surprising amount of humility in it and reveals a much more interesting life than you would expect from a professional quizzer, like several years of homelessness and sleeping rough. It turns out that he was doing acting and modelling before the quiz appearances and wasn’t just doing the pantomimes on the back of name recognition from Eggheads.

All of which is a bit of a shame because it was more fun to see him as a one-dimensional full-of-himself tosspot character, and I have probably made ROTE a bit less enjoyable now that I know he is actually a proper three-dimensional, full-of-himself real person who is playing the part of a one-dimensional, full-of-himself tosspot, but he does it well enough that I’ll still be able to cheer on the challengers.

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