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When is The Circle on TV? Who is the host? Who are the players? Who won the show last year?

Channel 4’s social media reality show will be back for a second series

Emma Willis - The Circle
Channel 4
Published: Tuesday, 27th August 2019 at 9:45 pm

The Circle will be back for a second run, after turning out to be quite the sleeper hit for Channel 4. First airing in September last year, the show’s finale pulled in 0.62 million viewers thanks to its dystopian feel and catfishing contestants – and garnered lots of attention on Twitter.


Netflix then announced plans to remake the show in the US and at least two other international markets.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new series…

When is The Circle on TV?

The Circle has now been confirmed to launch on Tuesday 24th September at 9.15pm on Channel 4, with Emma Willis hosting a live show scheduled to run for 75 minutes. It will then be on every night at 10pm, with Friday's live shows being 90 minutes long.

Who will be starring in The Circle?

The first set of players to be entering the social network game have now been announced. It's a motley crew this year, with Zoe Ball's son, a former UKIP candidate and a man pretending to be a single mother all entering the game at first. However, much like Love Island, more contestants join the show as the game progresses - so don't panic if you haven't found your favourite yet.

It has also been confirmed that Richard Madeley (yes, Richard Madeley, of Richard and Judy fame), will be the first celebrity contestant taking part in The Circle, with viewers at home being able to select Madeley's The Circle persona by voting on the show's bespoke app.

How do you apply to be on The Circle?

You could apply for the new series by clicking here. Casting for the UK version has now closed.

Who is the host of The Circle?

Following on from series one hosts Alice Levine and Maya Jama, The Circle has now landed former Big Brother frontwoman Emma Willis to host The Circle.

The new series will have an extended run and a weekly live episode, which will be hosted by Willis.

The new live shows will give viewers at home the chance to influence the narrative in The Circle in different dramatic ways, via the show’s bespoke app.

“I’m an avid people watcher and fascinated by the positives and negatives of social media,” said Willis after she was appointed.

“I got hooked on the first series and thought it was a smart format that highlights how we shouldn’t take everything on social media at face value.

“I’m delighted to be part of something that is incredibly relevant and can’t wait to join the team and see how mischievous people are prepared to be for £100,000.”

How does The Circle work?

The format sees the show’s “players” relocated to a newly refurbished block of flats in London where they live for the duration of the series. Each contestant lives alone, and can only communicate with the other players using their profiles on The Circle, a specifically-designed app which allows them to portray themselves in any way they wish.

While the majority of last year’s players stayed true to themselves, other contestants vastly altered their ages, occupations and even pretended to be someone else entirely.

As the show progresses, the players are asked to rank each other out of five. Once they all give their ratings, their average scores are listed from highest to lowest.

The two highest-ranked players then become “influencers”, while the others face the risk of being “blocked”. Blocked players are eliminated from the competition – though are given a chance to meet one player still part of The Circle.

The finale sees contestants rank each other one last time – the highest rated player wins. Viewers at home are also entitled to select a winner.

This year, the most popular player is in with a chance to win up to £100,000.

“The second series will have more of what the viewers loved – warmth, humour, more live elements and even more surprises. I’m excited to see how it will build on the success of series one,” says Kelly Webb-Lamb, Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes.

“This year we have some thrilling twists and turns in both our casting and the gameplay.”

Who won the last series of The Circle?

The show’s very first series was won by 26-year-old internet comedian Alex Hobern, who joined The Circle claiming to be a 25-year-old woman called Kate, using photos of his real-life girlfriend Millie.

Alex’s reveal lead to this iconic moment.

Alex was also ranked the viewer’s champion, seeing him scoop the prize money.


The Circle returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday 24th September at 9.15pm


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