Former Big Brother host Emma Willis is to host the second season of Channel 4’s reality series The Circle. She is to replace Alice Levine and Maya Jama for the second run of the format, which is being remade by Netflix in the U.S. and in a number of other territories.
The social media based-show will also move from London to Manchester and will feature more live episodes than it did last year. The series, which is essentially Big Brother-meets-Catfish for a social media-obsessed audience, is produced by All3Media’s Studio Lambert, producer of Undercover Boss and Gogglebox, and Motion Content Group, the WPP-backed program funder.
The Circle features a range of individuals from all walks of life competing in a popularity contest to win a prize of around £75,000. They will live in one modern block but separately in individual apartments, interacting with one another exclusively through a bespoke voice-activated social media platform called The Circle. In the show, the contestants will chat, make friends, argue and maybe even fall in love, while building their own profiles as well as forming cliques and private allegiances. They must avoid being judged least popular by the rest of The Circle. In the British version, contestants who have made it to the final include a man impersonating his girlfriend, a turtle-loving former real estate agent, a loud Essex call-center worker and a fashion student-turned model.
C4 said that the second season will “become more mischievous increasing the gameplay, drama and jeopardy.” In addition to an extended run, it will feature a weekly live episode, that will give viewers at home the chance to influence the narrative via the show’s bespoke app.
The show will return later this year and will be exec produced by Tim Harcourt, Darrell Olsen, Daisy Lilley, Susy Price, Toni Ireland and Martin Oxley.
This comes after Netflix snapped up the international rights to the format and Deadline revealed that it was making French and Brazilian series as well as a U.S. adaptation.
Willis said, “I’m an avid people watcher and fascinated by the positives and negatives of social media. 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.”
Kelly Webb-Lamb, Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes and Head of Popular Factual, said, “We’re so excited to welcome Emma into The Circle. She’s a fantastic talent for Channel 4 and will be the perfect person to guide us through the gameplay and mischievousness of The Circle.”
Tim Harcourt, Studio Lambert Creative Director added, “Emma brings charm, warmth and humour to all of her TV projects. She has a great passion for her shows which is why the audience love her. We’re thrilled to have her on The Circle.”