The Circle will return with a special celebrity edition as Channel 4 announces its line-up of new shows coming in 2021.
Channel 4 said the return of the reality TV show “promises to be bigger than ever with a new celebrity version”.
The series, presented by Emma Willis, follows the show’s contestants as they 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.
The participants can choose whether to be honest or use a false persona on social media, with players spending the series trying to work 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.
The celebrities taking part has yet to be announced.
Channel 4 has also announced new drama Help from The Virtues and National Treasure writer Jack Thorne, starring BAFTA award-winning stars Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham. The hard-hitting series will take an unflinching look at the crisis that enveloped care homes in the UK during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
New comedy Big Boys, starring Derry Girls star Dylan Llewelyn and created by comedy writer Jack Rooke has also been confirmed for the New Year. The six-part series follows the unlikely friendship between sweet, shy, closeted Jack (Llewellyn) and the boisterous, laddish and ever-so-slightly mature student Danny (Jon Pointing). It will centre on their bond, despite both being at dramatically different places on the spectrum of masculinity.
Channel 4 has also announced its new strategy, saying “all of Channel 4’s commissioning, scheduling and commercial strategy will be optimised towards growing views and revenue on All 4 with a much greater focus on investing content that can deliver long-term digital viewing growth”.
As well as prioritising digital growth over linear ratings, Channel 4 added that “there will be greater investment in young-skewing formats and more innovative reality like The Circle, comedy entertainment like Taskmaster, factual series, documentaries, scripted comedy like Derry Girls, and more young-profiling drama like End of the F***ing World.”