Christopher Hughes: winner of Mastermind, International Mastermind and former Brain of Britain.
Daphne Fowler: winner of Fifteen to One, Brain of Britain and Going for Gold.
CJ De Mooi: winner of BrainTeaser, 100% and The Weakest Link as well as having been Mensa chess champion.
Kevin Ashman: winner of British Quiz Championship, European Quiz Championship, World Quizzing Championships, Fifteen to One, Mastermind, Brain of Britain and Mind Sports Olympiad.
Judith Keppel: first British winner of one million pounds on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Eggheads is a BBC Quiz Show first broadcast in 2003. Up until 2nd December 2008 the team consisted of 5 Quiz Champions these are:-
The show pits a team of 'Eggheads' (made up of six highly regarded quiz and game show champions, rotating each episode) against a series of 'Challengers' who in each episode attempt to beat the Eggheads through a series of rounds.
The title sequence consists of a voiceover by the host stating 'These people are amongst the greatest quiz players in Britain. Together they make up the Eggheads, arguably the most formidable quiz team in the country. The question is: can they be beaten?' The six Eggheads are displayed in revolving egg shaped frames with a blue background.
There are four main rounds, in which the challengers are given a category, and choose one of their players to play against an Egghead of their choice, and they choose whether or not to go first — all aspects designed to give the challengers an advantage. They are asked three multiple choice questions each; if these result in a tie, non-multiple choice questions are asked in pairs, in a sudden death fashion. Possible categories for these rounds include Arts and Books, Entertainment, Food and Drink, History, Geography, Politics, Science and Sport. The contestants do not know the categories or their order in advance, but are guaranteed that at least one of Entertainment or Sport will come up.
After the main rounds the final takes place, in which the losing players from the main round are not allowed to compete and a dominant team could thus have a 5–1 advantage. All remaining players are allowed to confer and the category is always General Knowledge. Should the challengers win, they receive £1,000 plus a further £1,000 for each day the Eggheads had previously gone undefeated. Defeat usually leads Murnaghan to ask "Congratulations Eggheads, can anyone beat you?" The Eggheads have a tendency to show off somewhat, often giving extra information or using obscure cross-references to come to their answers.
There are nine possible subjects in the head-to-head rounds.
- Arts & Books
- Food & Drink
- Film & Television
"Music" and "Film & Television" were introduced in Autumn 2008 through a split of the "Entertainment" category.
Teams to have defeated the Eggheads
* The Unicorn Inn from Canterbury, Kent, were the first team to beat the Eggheads when they won the 13th edition (28 November 2003) in a sudden death tie break. Celebrity status and £13,000.
* Follically Challenged, a team from the IT department of a mortgage company, won the 15th edition, winning £2000.
* Unlikely Lads won the 21st episode of series 1, winning £6000.
* Streatham Massive won the 16th episode of Series 2, thereby winning £19,000.
* Spaghetti, a group of mensans from the West Midlands, won the final episode of Series 2 and £19,000.
* The Rotor Heads won the sixth episode of Series 4, and took away £21,000.
* Densa won the 26th episode of Series 4 on 22 November 2005, winning £20,000.
* Wapping Black Sheep then won the 29th episode of Series 4, and took away £3,000.
* Radio Ga Ga, a team from Leeds Student Radio, won the 6th episode of Series 5 and took away £17,000.
* Second Class, a group of postmen won £37,000 on 27 September 2006, which remained the highest win ever for just over a year. This episode can be viewed on YouTube and shows the Eggheads getting their third multiple choice question wrong in the final round. They guessed that Charente was well-known for its manufacture of hats. The answer was slippers (known as Charentaise).
* Mancunian Candidates, a University Challenge team, then beat the Eggheads to win £7,000 on 6 October 2006.
* Russell's Raiders were the next team to beat the Eggheads on 13 October 2006, winning £4,000.
* West Yorkies, a team from an air-conditioning firm in Brighouse, then beat the Eggheads to win £29,000 on 30 March 2007. The Eggheads didn't know who wrote the 2006 book A year of eating dangerously. They guessed Tony Hawks, but ironically Judith (who had been knocked out in her Science head-to-head) knew it was Tom Parker Bowles!
* Seville Servants, a group of civil servants from Belfast, then won only £1,000 on the next episode. Although down to only two challengers (because CJ was beaten in the History round) in the final General Knowledge round, they still ended up victorious.
* Beer Today, Gone Tomorrow, a group of students from Oxford Brookes University, won £75,000 on 28 September 2007, the highest prize won on the show so far. Despite only two of them being in the final round versus four Eggheads (minus Chris) they won by correctly answering the question "which EU capital city is farthest south - Lisbon, Valletta, or Nicosia?", the answer being Nicosia in Cyprus. The Eggheads had answered the previous question incorrectly, believing eight states in the US officially sanction the death penalty, the correct answer being 38. The winners said at the end of the programme that they planned to treat themselves by traveling to Nicosia.
* Preston Quizmasters won £3,000 on 3 October 2007.
* A team from the Museum of London and the Museum in Docklands won £33,000 on 20 November 2007. The challengers had just two members in the final round versus four Eggheads (minus Judith), but managed to win after the Eggheads answered one question incorrectly in the final round, believing that actor Jeff Goldblum had appeared drunk on US chat show The View in November 2006 when in fact it was Danny DeVito.
* The Taxidermists then won the next episode and £1,000. This was the second occasion that the Eggheads had lost consecutive shows.
* A team from a Manchester City FC supporters website - Blue Vibe - beat the Eggheads on 7 December 2007, winning £12,000. The challengers had two members in the final round versus the Eggheads four (minus Daphne). The Eggheads failed to answer one question correctly, believing the Chinese year beginning 18 February 2007 was that of the Dog when in fact it was the Pig.
* Beer and Skittles, a Leicestershire pub team from The Unicorn Lutterworth won £5,000 on 12 February 2008. Two remaining team members beat the four Eggheads (minus Chris) in a sudden death tie-break. The Challengers correctly answered that a liger is the offspring of a male lion and a tigress, but the Eggheads incorrectly said that the Hindu god of dance was Krishna. The answer was Shiva.
* Weakly Players, a Cardiff-based amateur dramatics team won £27,000 on 20 March 2008. The Eggheads (minus Daphne) got their final multiple choice general knowledge question wrong. The Eggheads believed Radio Happy Isles and Radio Happy Lagoon were broadcast in Samoa. The correct answer was the Solomon Islands.
* Sean and the Sheep, a team composed of four Welsh people and an Englishman called Sean won £20,000 on 17 April 2008. The Eggheads (minus Judith and CJ) got their second multiple-choice General Knowledge question wrong, believing that the word Trabant - a German automobile - literally meant "worker". The correct answer is satellite. Sean and The Sheep won 3-1.
* Tapheads, a team of work colleagues at Welsh Water, who won £13,000 on 6 May 2008. In the final round the Eggheads team contained only Daphne and Chris; in 'sudden death', they incorrectly believed the heads side of a coin was called the reverse. The correct answer is the obverse.
* On 13 May 2008, The Ratpack became the first team to win with only one remaining team member in the final round. Alex, the final team member, answered all of his questions correctly, having decided to go first. Having answered their first two questions correctly the final question for the Eggheads was: "Colin Myler was appointed Editor of which newspaper in 2007?" The three possible answers were News Of The World, The Sun and Daily Mail. The Eggheads incorrectly chose The Sun. The correct answer was News Of The World. The "Ratpack" won £5,000.
* On 5 June 2008, Lads Wot Lunch from Surrey beat the Eggheads (minus Judith & Chris) to win £12,000. The Eggheads' final multiple-choice question was "Which coin was officially decommissioned in 1993? The answers were Half crown, half penny, or florin. Kevin & Daphne overruled CJ and said it was the halfpenny. It was the florin.
* On 12 June 2008, South Wales Warriors, an American football team from Cardiff, beat the Eggheads (minus Chris, Judith & Kevin) to win £5,000. The Eggheads' second multiple-choice question was "The singer Edith Piaf was famous for her romantic association with which sportsman? The answers were Marcel Cerdan, René Lacoste or Just Fontaine. CJ and Daphne incorrectly chose Lacoste, however the correct answer was Cerdan.
* On 25 August 2008, Loser's Corner, from Belfast, beat the Eggheads (minus CJ) to win £6,000. The Eggheads' third multiple-choice question was "Which Welsh band released the album Hey Venus! in 2007? The answers were Manic Street Preachers, Super Furry Animals or Stereophonics. The Eggheads incorrectly chose Manic Street Preachers. The correct answer was Super Furry Animals, which CJ appeared to know. "Loser's Corner", then correctly guessed that in 1989, Marina Ogilvy was the first member of the British Royal Family to win the Rear of the Year award.
* On 8 October 2008, Meet Your Waterloo from Hampshire beat the Eggheads and won £7,000. This was the second time in the history of the show that the Eggheads were beaten by a single challenger. Liz Havill from the challenging team answered her first three questions correctly. The Eggheads were then asked to identify the author of the poetic extract "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" they chose from the multiple choice T. S. Eliot, the correct answer was W. B. Yeats, the quote coming from the poem The Second Coming.
* On 29 October 2008, The Flexi Funksters a team of students from Plymouth University beat the Eggheads and won £16,000. Despite the Flexi Funksters being beaten in all 4 head-heads their one remaining contestant managed to beat all five Eggheads in the final round. Sarah even got her first question wrong and with the Eggheads getting their first 2 correct a comfortable win seemed likely. However the Eggheads answered their third multiple choice question incorrectly and their first in sudden death to hand the Flexi Funksters one of the most unlikely wins in the gameshow's history. The question that defeated the Eggheads was "Which quiz show host was the subject of a popular urban myth (by Stuart Maconie) that he played the sax solo on Gerry Rafferty's UK hit "Baker Street"? Eggheads answered Hughie Green; correct answer was Bob Holness.
* On 18 November 2008, the challengers were the Cubbington Players who were members of an amateur dramatics group in Leamington Spa. The Eggheads team for the final round consisted of Daphne and Judith but they were unable to name the stage musical which featured the songs Electricity and Expressing Yourself, the answer was Billy Elliot: The Musical; £13,000 was won.
* On 1 December 2008, challengers Act One (Cardiff University Drama Society) held a four to two advantage in the final round; CJ had won the opening round on Arts & Books, but Judith, Daphne and Chris had lost the three subsequent rounds. When asked which restaurant Tony and Cherie Blair had taken Bill and Hillary Clinton to in London in 1997, CJ and Kevin were unable to correctly identify Le Pont de la Tour. The challengers won £8,000.
* On 2 February 2009, challengers The Bere Heads, from Bere Alston, Devon, beat the Eggheads, winning £25,000. Kevin and Barry, the two remaining Eggheads in the final round, got their sudden death question wrong. They incorrectly guessed that Luke Hansard, the originator of the UK parliamentary debates Hansard, was a doctor by profession, whereas the correct answer was that he was a printer .
* On 3 February 2009, the Eggheads lost their second game in a row for only the third time in the history of the series. With Judith eliminated in the head to heads, the Eggheads had four players (Barry, Chris, CJ, and Kevin) to the Abbey Revellers' two. The challengers correctly identified Henry Linfield as the first person ever to die in a car crash, in 1898. The Eggheads debated the answer to a question on the term for going backwards on skateboard. CJ believed the term was "fakie", but was outvoted by the other three, who opted for "goofy foot". The correct answer was "fakie".
* On 11 February 2009, the Eggheads were defeated by The Bald & The Beautiful, a team consisting of compliance managers and warehouse managers. Similarly to the previous loss to the Abbey Revellers, Judith had been eliminated, leaving CJ, Kevin, Chris and Barry in the final against two of the challengers. On the final question, the Eggheads were asked from which poet's work did Cormac McCarthy take the title for his novel No Country for Old Men. Having nothing to guess upon other than CJ's instinct of W.H. Auden, the Eggheads answered incorrectly. The correct answer was W.B. Yeats. So, the challengers won £6,000
* On 20 February 2009, the Eggheads were defeated by a team called Eclectic Mix. The Eggheads' team in the final round consisted of CJ, Daphne, Kevin and Barry; Judith had been knocked out during the sports round. The Eggheads were defeated in sudden death when asked "Which English word is derived from the Latin meaning "that which must be done"?" Uncertain, they guessed "demonstration" whereas the correct answer was "agenda" which is derived from agendum. The challengers won £7,000
* On 25 March 2009, the Eggheads were defeated by a team called Oxford Imps consisting of four Oxford University graduates and one Cambridge University graduate; all members of an improv comedy group. The Eggheads team in the final round consisted of Daphne, Judith and Barry; CJ had been knocked out during the Politics round and Chris in the Arts & Books round. The Eggheads were defeated on the final question of the round where they had gone second, incorrectly answering "How wide are the clock faces on Big Ben?" they bizarrely chose 3 metres from a choice of 3, 7 and 11 metres, enough to raise a comment from Dermot on how "You'd hardly see them!". The challengers won £3,000
* On 5 May 2009 the Eggheads were beaten by "The Chummie Brummies" from Birmingham. The only remaining members of the Egghead team were CJ and Daphne, after Chris, Kevin and Barry lost their head-to-head rounds. CJ and Daphne lost on a fashion question; they were unable to identify Christy Turlington as the third member of "The Trinity" also containing Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista. "The Chummie Brummies" won £29,000.
* On 7 August 2009, "One Sense Less", a team made up of profoundly deaf contestants requiring a sign language interpreter, defeated the Eggheads. After Kevin and Chris had been knocked out in their head-to-head rounds, the remaining Eggheads incorrectly stated that the Venus Flytrap was native to Africa rather than North America (an answer Chris and Kevin guessed correctly in the question room!). The challengers won £23,000. Statistically, that is Eggheads' 38th defeat in 554 episodes.
* On 22 September 2009, the Eggheads were beaten by "The Midweek Marauders", a team made up from quiz regulars from Pencoed Rugby Club. Paul Lynham for the Marauders was soundly beaten by Barry in the first round on Art & books. Derek Williams out classed CJ in round two on Science. Martyn Oram edged out Chris in the Sports round and Philip Lawrence knocked out Judith in the Film & Television round. Only Barry and Kevin were left to defend the Eggheads honour in the final round. Both teams answered their multiple choice questions successfully and each team had to answer two sudden death questions, the Eggheads failing on their second question on the origins of the word shampoo. The Midweek Marauders won £10,000.
Having seen many episodes of the series it appears clear that both Judith and C.J. De Mooi are both well short of 'Egghead' status and probably are barely even at 'Quiz League' level. Barry and Daphne are clearly capable quizzers but do show some big gaps in knowledge, Barry being especially poor on Pop Music and average at best on Sport and Daphne being under par on Science and Sport. Chris also clearly has specialist knowledge in some areas but below average and indeed poor knowledge in other areas such as Sport and anything on modern culture. Pat seems something of enigma bearing in mind his status as 'World Quiz Champion', there are still a fair few gaps in knowledge but generally he has a good widespread knowledge. He is also very good on current affairs and entertainment which probably explains his success at the WQC bearing in mind its heavy bias for entertainment and current events. Kevin is undoubtedly the undisputed 'King' of the show and is arguably better than the rest of the eggheads put together. His only obvious weekness would appear to be Food and Drink although he does still have a pretty good grasp of that. Finally the newest egghead 'Tremendous Knowledge' Dave, having qualified for his 'Egghead' status in somewhat clandestine fashion, appears to have a decent general knowledge but overall is perhaps a fair bit shy of 'Egghead' status. There are certainly a few areas where his knowledge is sketchy most notably 'Books'.
In May 2008, auditions began for a sixth person to join the Eggheads team. These auditions were developed into a spin-off show, Are You an Egghead?, presented by Dermot Murnaghan. This began airing on BBC2 on 20 October 2008. On 2 December 2008, Barry Simmons, who had once been a contestant on the regular show, won the Are You an Egghead? final and became the sixth Egghead.
Barry is a winner of Are You an Egghead?, semi-finalist on Mastermind, finalist on Brain of Britain, £64,000 winner on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, winning member 2006 Masterteam and member of the England Quiz Team.