Channel 4 Orders Celebrity Version of The Circle


Channel 4 has recommissioned The Circle for a third season, alongside a celebrity version, The Celebrity Circle, as part of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.

Host Emma Willis will return, and comedian Sophie Willan will resume her role as the voiceover in the brand-new third season, which will kick off with a special week-long celebrity edition in 2021.

A set of famous faces will move in for a celebrity version, in which they will be invited to play the game in aid of Stand Up To Cancer, a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 that brings the U.K. together to speed up progress in life-saving research.

In the popularity game where anyone can be anyone, players rate each other based on whom they like—and dislike. Competing against each other, the most popular players gain power and unpopular players get blocked. Once blocked, and before leaving the show, the eliminated players will get to meet other players in person for the first time.

Willis 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 center of all the mischief and drama! To add to that, we’re also doing a celeb version—I can’t wait to see who’ll be in the lineup and whether they’ll play as themselves or as another celebrity, it’s going to be incredible.”​

Kelly Webb-Lamb, Channel 4’s deputy director of programs and head of popular factual, said: “The Circle series two was a great success for the channel—growing year on year, with a massive young share and hugely up on slot across the run. It also was brilliantly and effortlessly diverse and created hundreds of jobs for freelancers in the north. But, most importantly it was funny, touching, compelling telly—and I’m delighted that we’re able to bring it back despite all of the challenges that this year has thrown at us. Expect more incredible casting, bonkers gameplay, drama, and tears…”

Gilly Greenslade, who commissioned all three seasons for Channel 4, said: “When we were developing the series three years ago, I knew it would reflect how we live but I never expected it to be quite so prophetic. Now many more of us have had a taste of living our lives isolated and online, I am excited to see the strategies and tactics that the new players bring to the game. I hope that this show will bring some much-needed joy and hilarity to our TV screens.”

Tim Harcourt, Studio Lambert’s creative director, said: “Our large freelance production team can’t wait to make another series of The Circle for Channel 4 and are excited to be launching a celebrity version for Stand Up To Cancer.  Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, people around the world have been learning the power of connecting remotely. Perhaps in the light of this, the new series will resonate even more for audiences as well as offer them the distraction of fun, warmth and strategy.”

Martin Oxley, Motion Content Group’s executive producer, added: “After the success of last year’s second season, we’re really excited that The Circle is returning to Channel 4. This time, bolder and brighter than ever with a new celebrity run, we can’t wait to see the characters that the casting team will include to help entertain our own enforced televised lockdown.”