When is The Circle back on TV?

Everything you need to know about the return of the social media-based gameshow.

Emma Willis

It was only a matter of time before someone turned social media into a gameshow.


And we’re so glad they did. Channel 4’s The Circle is genius viewing, exactly the kind of telly that gets us talking.

So it’s brilliant news that the show is back for a third series. But when will it air? And what can we expect this time round? Here’s everything you need to know…

When is The Circle back?

There’s no confirmed air date just yet, but we can expect to see it next year. Season two aired in September and October 2019, so perhaps Autumn 2021 could be the date to keep in your diary.

How do you play The Circle?

This is a game that makes the most of how easy it is to lie on social media. The contestants move into a block of flats where they live isolated lives – they can bring in pets, or babies, but they won’t make any adult human contact other than via their profiles.

They can choose whether to be honest, or to create an avatar from scratch – e.g. a glamour model can choose to post pictures of a bricklayer and assume that personality. The players spend the series trying to suss out who is real and who is telling lies. Contestants get blocked along the way, allegiances form in private online chats and eventually the most popular person wins.

Tim The Circle (Channel 4)

How to apply for The Circle season 3

Yes! The hunt is on for contestants, so if you think you’re a pro with your profile, click here to apply. You’ll need to be a UK resident and must be 18 years old by 1st July 2020.

Who hosts The Circle?

Emma Willis has hosted the programme since series two. The first series was hosted by Alice Levine and Maya Jama.

Speaking of the new series, Emma said: “The Circle is just brilliant, unmissable television. I loved every minute of being a part of it and I’m delighted to be returning to it for another series where I’ll be right at the centre of all the mischief and drama!”

Will season three of The Circle be any different?

Yes, this year the whole show will be pre-recorded months in advance. Last year, we were only about a day behind the action, like Big Brother, and Emma Willis hosted shows with a live studio audience, getting reaction to the latest developments. This part of the series has been scrapped this year because of social distancing concerns.

The main game will stay the same, although with every year that goes by the players come in with smarter strategies and clever ways to catfish.

What is the prize on The Circle?

Cold hard cash! In series one, there was prize money of £75,000 up for grabs, and for series two it jumped up to £100,000 – £70k for winning the series and £30k for being voted the viewers’ champion. Last year, Paddy won the series and Tim was voted viewers’ champion. The prize fund for series three is yet to be confirmed.

Who is competing in the next series of The Circle?

Auditions are currently taking place for series three, so we have no details about the contestants yet. Last year’s finalists were Zoe Ball’s son Woody (playing as himself), James from Liverpool (playing as young single mum Sammie), Georgina (playing as herself), retired professor Tim (playing as himself) and Paddy (playing as himself but choosing to hide the fact he his cerebral palsy).

Is there a celebrity version of The Circle?

Funny you should ask, yes there is going to be a celeb version next year. It will be shorter, only lasting a week, but we can’t wait to see which famous faces will be thrown into the mix.

Emma said of the celebrity version: “I can’t wait to see who’ll be in the line-up and whether they’ll play as themselves or as another celebrity – it’s going to be incredible”.


The Circle returns to Channel 4 next year. To find out what else is on TV in the mean time, check out our TV Guide.