Revenge Of The Egghead: A poor platform of pretension

cj de mooiIf ever there was an egghead I’d like to crack with a teaspoon, then it would be that of the insufferably pompous C J de Mooi. Famed for his place on the BBC 2 Egghead panel and his subsequent failure to ‘crack’ the acting world, his apparent love to hate persona has won him his own spin off which began this week.

Simply returning CJ to our screens should be considered revenge enough, but the setup of the show goes a little further. In a brand new premise to television, a selection of everyday folk come up against a quizzing expert in order to win a sum of money. Hand picked from the gutters of obscure idiocy by producers eager to show what CJ is made of, the five hopeless contestants were merely pawns in a platform to elevate CJ to panto villain status, a role he plays a little too convincingly to be entertaining.

The contestants answer general knowledge questions and, when they give a wrong answer (believe me, so far this is far, far more common than when they get a correct one) they are forced to do the walk of shame to a podium where CJ fires one his own (or his PA’s anyway) crafted questions. Get this wrong, and they lose a life.  

During the process, we are subjected to relentless and staged shots of CJ looking bored, tired, scornful and a little bit constipated. Eventually, after dragging on for what seems like a much longer time than has actually transpired we get to the Final Chase, sorry, I mean final round. The idea of this is for CJ to answer ten questions and the remaining contestants must put their brain cells together (to form about six cells in total) to try and beat his score.

This idea is probably the strongest part of the show and certainly works on paper, but none of the whispered deliberations between contestants appear to have been edited out of proceedings so again, it’s a prolonged affair, with an inevitably unsatisfactory result, and the smugness in CJ which is no doubt deliberate, is nevertheless hard to swallow.

I shan’t be watching again, but anyone brave enough to see the series through, please do put the moment he gets beaten up on Youtube for me to see. I daresay it’ll be the only ounce of entertainment this show will provide.

What did you think of the show’s debut? Comments welcomed below.

Written By Our Man In The North


Filed under Game Shows

9 responses to “Revenge Of The Egghead: A poor platform of pretension

  1. katie

    This is. a ridiculous attempt to get a winning formula from the very successful ITV show The Chase. Sadly it lacks on so many counts.

  2. mrssatan

    CJ makes Mark Labbett look like charm personified!

  3. L E Droy

    D’accord! While eggheads was getting a bit stale, CJ’s supercilliousness is worse than Dermot’s babbling…

  4. Irishgirl

    I’m a huge fan of Eggheads but the first episode of the Revenge of the Egghead was one episode too many. CJ’s smug, supercilious, sneering, self-satisfied demeanour put me right off my dinner. Who thought this was a good idea? Now, on the other hand, if it was Kevin ……. well, that would be different!

  5. wallomrslug

    Katie: Yes, they’re not even being particularly subtle about the rip off.

    Mrssatan: Mark is not without charm!

    L E Droy: I’d say they were on par 😉

    IrishGirl: Loving your alliteration and wish I could hear it in an Irish accent! On topic though, thanks for commenting

    Our Man In The North.

  6. Frances judd

    My husband and I used to enjoy the old format and could even answer most of the questions, unlike other quiz programs like University Challenge, Mastermind and Connect. Having tried to watch two episodes of Revenge of the Egghead we decided that it was much too irritating and will certainly not be watching it again. Obviously, a new producer brought in to make it appeal to young people with buzzers going off, studio lit up in red, people losing lives and a very bored looking CJ!

  7. Leonard Sanford

    CJ’s smugness, derision etc is ludicrously overacted, the constant repetition of very basic rules is almost as irritating, the prize money is too derisory to create any tension, the selection of a barely-above-average contestant to be a new Egghead in the regular series is far too obviously the personal choice of some producer that fancied her, and the show as a whole is a one trick pony and a huge failure. I confidently expect it to be cancelled before its run officially ends.

    • With regards to the ‘barely above average’ contestant – have you seen Lisa Thiel in any other quiz shows? She’s genuinely very impressive. In her 2001 Weakest Link episode, she performed extremely well right the way through despite being only 21 at the time, but in the final she appeared to lose her confidence and finished as runner-up. In her post-game interview, she described her opponent as ‘confident, relaxed, no nerves and having very good general knowledge’ – terms that I feel just as equally describe Lisa herself. Much as I love Daphne, I’m really looking forward to seeing Lisa on the team.

      • wallomrslug

        I have seen Lisa in the Weakest Link, yes. I have spoken to Lisa herself too, and she is going to be interviewed for this blog. She is certainly a good quizzer. The point I was making was that, in the episode itself, it seemed a little glitchy that she was heralded above the others when her teammates were just as good, in fact one performed statistically much better.
        Cheers for your comment, and I too will look forward to Lisa’s debut on Eggheads, I am sure she will be very good.
        -Our Man In The North.