The Circle: All about Channel 4’s brand new reality show and how it works

The Circle: What is it? Air date, hosts and more news

Channel 4’s new reality show The Circle begins tonight – but what’s it all about?

Called The Circle, a number of contestants will live together – but never actually meet in person.

The Circle’s players will all move into the same building but live in completely separate apartments. Living just inches away from each other, they can’t see or hear one another and will never meet their competitors face to face while playing the game.

Instead, they’ll compete for £50,000 in a popularity competition decided by how they come across on social media.

It all begins on Tuesday 18th September at 9.15pm.

the circle contestants

The Circle – how does it work?

There are eight contestants playing the game but the only thing they’ll see of each other is what they choose to share. They could portray themselves as younger, older, fitter, frumpier or foxier. They could become a totally different person. Or simply be themselves.

The players will spend up to three weeks getting to know each other. Flirting, bantzing, debating and lol-ing. They’ll compete in hi-tech VR games and physical challenges.

Every few days, the players will rate each other. The most popular players (those with the highest ratings) will become “Influencers” and hold all the power. The least liked with the lowest ratings run the risk of being blocked and booted out of The Circle altogether.

With £50,000 prize money up for grabs – who would you be to become popular online?

The Circle spoilers

In the first episode tonight, the players make themselves at home in their individual apartments, before getting started on creating their brand new profiles on The Circle. Starting from scratch on social media is a dream come true for many – but the players need to choose what information to give away at this early stage of the game.

The Circle is voice-activated – so it looks to viewers like the players are talking to each other, and all the players can see of their competitors is the information they choose to share.

The Circle enables players to chat, make friends, break friends, argue, compete against each other in physical and mental challenges, flirt and maybe even fall in love.

The Circle hosts

The programme is hosted by Alice Levine and Maya Jama.

Alice said: “Social media is now such a dominant and prominent part of our lives that it’s hard to think about how we took that first step. Getting rid of everything; the dubious photos, the ill-advised midnight comments, the questionable quotes-on-a-sunset and starting from scratch, without a trace, isn’t really an option.

Alice Levine and Maya Jama
Alice Levine and Maya Jama

“But that’s exactly what our players can do. It’s going to be fascinating to see where they start from and where they take their brand new profiles to try and win The Circle. It’s exciting to be involved in such a timely show, plus, now getting sucked into an Instagram vortex is necessary ‘research’.

Maya added: “Social media is such a huge part of everyone’s lives, twitter, Instagram, facebook – there is no escaping it nowadays.

“I’m so excited to be a part of the first ever reality show which plays around with this – The Circle will show how each players’ mind works, contestants will start with a fresh social media page – viewers will get to see what really makes people popular and how far players will go to become the most influential in the game.”

The Circle will start Tuesday 18th September at 9.15pm and continue weeknights at 9PM.

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