The Circle (British TV series)

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The Circle
The Circle series 2.jpeg
Creative director(s)Tim Harcourt
Presented byMaya Jama
Alice Levine
Emma Willis
Narrated bySophie Willan
Theme music composerPatrizio Knight
Opening theme"The Circle Theme"[1][2]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes40
Executive producer(s)Tim Harcout
Daisy Lilly
Toni Ireland
Cam de la Huerta
Martin Oxley
Camera setupFixed rig
Running time60-95 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)Studio Lambert[3]
Motion Content Group
Original networkChannel 4
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release18 September 2018 (2018-09-18) –
Related shows
External links

The Circle is a British reality television series, produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group which launched its first series on Channel 4 on 18 September 2018. The series bills itself as a game based around social media, with the concept that "anyone can be anyone in The Circle". Throughout the series, contestants live in the same building, but are never allowed to meet. The series is narrated by Sophie Willan, whilst the first and last episode of the first series were hosted by Maya Jama and Alice Levine, later replaced by Emma Willis for the second series. The series has been compared to Big Brother and Catfish in format,[4] as well as Black Mirror episode "Nosedive" with the concept of ratings.[5]

The first series was won by 26-year-old Internet comedian Alex Hobern, who had played the game claiming to be a 25-year-old woman called Kate, using photos of his real-life girlfriend Millie. Hobern also won the "viewers champion" for an additional £25,000, claiming £75,000 in total. The second series was won by Paddy Smyth, with Tim Wilson winning the "viewers champion" vote.


The show's contestants, or "players", all move into a refurbished block of flats in Salford (previously London). However, the contestants will never meet face-to-face during the course of the competition, as they will each live in their own individual flat. They will communicate solely using their profiles on a specially-designed app, giving them the ability to portray themselves in any way they choose.[6][7][8]

Throughout the game the players rate one another. In season 1, the players rated each other from 1 to 5 stars. In future seasons, players had to rank their fellow players from most to least Favourite. At the end of the ratings, their average scores are revealed. Normally, the two highest rated players become "influencers", while the remaining players will be at risk of being "blocked" by the influencers. However, occasionally there may be a twist to the blocking process - varying from the lowest rating players being instantly blocked, the identy of the influencers being a secret, or multiple players being blocked at one time. Blocked players are eliminated from the game, but are given the opportunity to briefly meet one player still in the game.

During the final, the contestants rate each other one final time, where the highest rated player wins the series and receives a £50,000 cash prize (£70,000 in series 2).[8][7] The viewers also get to choose their "viewers champion" out of the finalists, with the winner of this receiving £25,000 (£30,000 in series 2).

Series overview[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes Players Winner Viewers' Champion
Player Prize Player Prize
1 18 September 2018 (2018-09-18) 8 October 2018 (2018-10-08) 18 15 Alex Hobern
£50,000 Alex Hobern
2 24 September 2019 (2019-09-24) 18 October 2019 (2019-10-18) 22 Paddy Smyth £70,000 Tim Wilson £30,000

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2020 National Television Awards Challenge Show The Circle Pending

International versions[edit]

On 9 October 2018, it was announced that three localised versions have been commissioned by Netflix for three countries; the United States, Brazil, and France.[9][10][11][12][13][14] In October 2019, it was announced that the American version had been filmed, and the Brazilian version had headed into its pre-production phase.[15]

Country Local title Channel Presenter Premiere date End date
 United States The Circle Netflix Michelle Buteau 1 January 2020 15 January 2020 (15 January 2020)
 Brazil The Circle Brazil TBA 2020 2020
 France The Circle France TBA 2020 2020


  1. ^ "About". Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  2. ^ Knight, Patrizio. "The Circle Theme (Extended)". Soundcloud. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b "C4 commissions The Circle from Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group". 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  4. ^ White, Peter. "Netflix Remakes Studio Lambert's British Reality Series 'The Circle' In The U.S. & Two Other Global Markets". Deadline. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  5. ^ Abdulbaki, Mae (26 September 2019). "Netflix's New Reality Competition The Circle Is Already Super Popular In The U.K." Cinema Blend. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  6. ^ "WATCH: How does Channel 4's The Circle work?".
  7. ^ a b Donaldson, Laura (11 September 2018). "The Circle on Channel 4: What is it and when does it start? All the details". OK!.
  8. ^ a b Draper, James (17 September 2018). "The Circle: Start date and all you need to know about new Channel 4 show". Daily Mirror.
  9. ^ Burton, Charlie. "The Circle finale made one massive mistake". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  10. ^ Deen, Sarah (9 October 2018). "The Circle US is coming as Netflix plan three versions of the Channel 4 series". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  11. ^ Fullerton, Huw. "Netflix to remake reality show The Circle in three new countries including the US". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  12. ^ Mitchell, Bea (9 October 2018). "Netflix snaps up The Circle for new worldwide series". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Channel 4's The Circle winner revealed". BBC News. 9 October 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  14. ^ "'The Circle': Netflix Lines Up French & Brazilian Remakes As Studio Lambert Uses UK Hub For Reality Format". 18 December 2018.
  15. ^ Anderton, Joe. "The Circle may be coming back sooner than you think". Digital Spy.

External links[edit]