South Yorkshire 'Egghead' arrested for murder

CJ de Mooi - picture: PA

CJ de Mooi - picture: PA

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A Barnsley born TV quiz show regular has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

CJ de Mooi, a former panellist on the BBC quiz show Eggheads, has been arrested under a European arrest warrant for an alleged killing in Amsterdam more than 20 years ago.

He was detained under his real name, Joseph Connagh, at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday and is due at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

De Mooi, who was born in Barnsley but who now lives in Monmouthshire, Wales, revealed in his autobiography that he may have killed a man while he lived on the streets of Amsterdam in 1998.

The 46-year-old said he punched a man who approached him with a knife and then threw him into a canal.

He wrote in his autobiography: "He caught me on the wrong day and I just snapped."

He added: "I fully suspect I killed him. I've no idea what happened to him."

De Mooi also described how he became a prostitute in London and then Amsterdam when he found himself homeless and penniless in his late teens.

He left home when he was 17 and lived on the streets in Rotherham and Sheffield before moving to Amsterdam and later to Cologne, Germany, where a chance encounter outside a gay bar led to the beginnings of his modelling career.

He became a panellist on the BBC Two show Eggheads, which features five quiz champions competing as a team against different challengers, in 2003, after appearing on a series of game shows including The Weakest Link, Fifteen to One, Countdown, Beat the Nation and No Win, No Fee

De Mooi, who studied at Rotherham College of Arts, described the incident in Amsterdam as one of the biggest regrets of his life.

In his book, published last year, he admitted failing to report the incident to the police and that he had 'no idea' what happened to the man - a homeless drug addict - he pushed into the canal.

He said: "It was the only outburst of violence I've ever done. That's one of the reasons why I absolutely abhor all violence."

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