CJ de Mooi enjoyed a 9-year stint on the BBC quiz show Eggheads, before experiencing a turbulent 2016. Here, he reflects on the events of the last year, and offers upcoming performers his advice on staying grounded through turbulent times, and staying focused on the career path ahead.
Q: 2016 was a tremendously difficult year for you. Could you please give us your view on the events of the last year?
CJ: I’ll simply say this. I did absolutely nothing wrong or illegal and everything that was written or said about me was based on lies and rumours from other people. Actions I was alleged to have taken, words I was alleged to have written, were all untrue. The basic fact is, if I wasn’t telling the truth, I’d be in jail right now. All accusations against me have been categorically dismissed. Through no fault of my own, I was fired from Eggheads, but I am a strong and passionate person and no matter how far I’m dragged down, I’ll always rise up.
Q: The events you had to endure go far beyond the standard difficulties presented by the industry – which can be considerable at the best of times – how did you get through those moments?
CJ: I’m fortunate to have a wonderfully strong marriage and great friends. I was secure in my innocence in all matters but was never sure of the honesty of other involved parties which was very stressful. Might evidence be falsified or further lies told as cover? And I also have to say that the support I received on Twitter was incredible and I’m so indebted to my followers for their messages and kind words. If you’re one of those people reading this right now, thank you so much.
Q: How do you move on and put it behind you? Can you learn from the experience?
CJ: I was born to be a performer. I’m sure everyone in the industry can relate to that. There’s nothing that makes us feel so complete, so happy, as when we’re entertaining other people. No 5-yr-old says categorically that he or she wants to be an Accountant or a Chartered Surveyor. However, as 5-yr-olds, we all knew what our destiny was. It’s in our blood and that’s what I hold on to for the future. I’m now represented by Winterson’s right in the heart of the West End which has given me so much hope and determination. Having a dedicated and caring team working for you is such a great boost and I’m really optimistic for my career again.
Q: Moving onto 2017, what do you foresee for the year ahead?
CJ: I just want to work and presenting is what I’m mainly known for and I’m sure opportunities will start to come through again. That’s another reason I’m so grateful to have Winterson’s in my corner because I wouldn’t be able to do this by myself. I’ve now made the definitive break from Eggheads so am looking at other options. I know my particular skillset is very niche but I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond than get lost in an ocean! I’m naturally an optimist so I’ll turn my beaming smile squarely to the coming year. I’m sure a wonderful job is waiting somewhere out there for me and I promise to keep looking until I find it!
Q: And finally, what advice would you give to those in the industry who may be going through tough times?
CJ: Ignore those who want to put you down. Let’s be happy, be positive and support each other. I try to wake each morning with a smile, record a cheerful message for social media and get on with my day. I’ve no idea what lies in store for me which is terrifying but exhilarating at the same time. I can only say this, dreams are ephemeral and almost impossible to catch but that won’t stop me chasing mine. Neither should you.
CJ de Mooi selected credits:
2016, Stage, Lawrence, THE LONELY WALK HOME, Taurus Productions, Ian Townsend
2015, Stage, Arnold, THE INTERNATIONAL STUD, Edinburgh Festival, Dan Phillips
2014, Stage, Menenius, CORIOLANUS, Lazarus Theatre, Ricky Dukes
2014, Stage, Thersites, TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, Lazarus Theatre, Ricky Dukes
2014, Stage, Arthur, ON TIDY ENDINGS, Tristan Bates Theatre, Dan Phillips
2014, Stage, Ghee, SAFE SEX, Tristan Bates Theatre, Dan Phillips
2012, Stage, Sidney Bruhl, DEATHTRAP, Brookside Theatre, Neil Reynolds
2012, Stage, Simon, GUILTY PLEASURES, Theatre Productions, Stephen Leatherland
2015, Musical, The Mikado, THE MIKADO, Welsh Musical Theatre Orchestra, Andrew Hopkins
2015, Musical, Clement Rogers, THE WILL ROGERS FOLLIES, Cackle Street, Steven Gordon Wilson
2013, Musical, Ms Axel, GEEK! A NEW MUSICAL, Tristan Bates Theatre, J Chapman Dixon, P Matthews
2012, Musical, Major General Stanley, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, Brookside Theatre, Drew Baker
2011, Musical, John the Baptist / Judas Iscariot, GODSPELL, WAMDS, Andy Kelly
2014, Feature Film, The Stranger (Lead), THE RENATA ROAD, Beyond the Bar, Ed Greenberg
2011, Feature Film, Bar Manager, THE SWEENEY, Vertigo Films, Nick Love
2015, Pantomime, Fleshcreep, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, Pendle Productions, Tim Lince
2013, Pantomime, Fleshcreep, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, Theatre Emporium, Stuart Morrison
2012, Pantomime, Victor, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Robert Warner Productions, John-Jackson Almond
2011, Pantomime, Fleshcreep, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, Pendle Productions, Tim Lince
2010, Pantomime, Emperor of China, ALADDIN, Mad About Productions
2009, Pantomime, Alderman Fitzwarren, DICK WHITTINGTON, Chris Moreno Ltd, Michael Courtney
2009, Pantomime, Henchman, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, Mad About Productions, Michael Courtney
2015, Television, Lawrence, VERA, ITV, Marek Losey
1998, Television, Transvestite wedding guest, BUGS, Carnival Films, Brian Grant
1998, Television Movie, Supporting Cast, HEAT OF THE SUN, Carlton Television, Paul Seed
1984, Television Movie, Protester, THREADS, BBC, Mick Jackson
2012, Short Film, Tony, EPILOGUE, Beyond the Bar, Ed Greenberg
2011, Short Film, Hannigan, CHRISTMAS WITH THE CONVICTS, Bournemouth University, Ashley Cross
2011, Short Film, The Man (Lead), THE RENATA ROAD, Beyond the Bar, Ed Greenberg
Contact CJ de Mooi at his agents https://www.nikiwinterson.com