Contestant will 'play it straight' on new series of The Circle

Returning to screens tonight, 'The Circle' will see the debut of a new host and a whole bunch of new contestants, revealing the stories behind their profile.

Emma Willis in the promo for the Circle season 2.

The Circle will be making a grand comeback tonight with a whole new cast of contestants and a brand new host. In the game “where anyone can be anyone”, nothing will be as it seems. 

Taking place over three weeks, the show focused on social media will see new contestants living separately, communicating all the while through the show’s personally designed social media platform. Described as a cross between Big Brother and Black Mirror, the contestants can take on different personas if they so choose and will be eliminated if their profile is blocked. The winner will take home the cash prize of £50,000.

Shaking things up in the luxury apartment, Emma Willis will be replacing previous hosts, Maya Jama and Alice Levine. She has previously presented the Voice UK and The Voice Kids. She made her debut in the stunning trailer for The Circle season 2 in which she bounces between a variety of looks. 

Let’s meet the cast for the upcoming season. 


Emelle's cast image for the Circle
Cast of the Circle.

Emelle, 31, is a model from Manchester. Though she is a lesbian, she will be playing a younger, straight girl in The Circle. This is not the first time a contestant has hidden their sexuality as Freddie, a gay call centre worker, pretended to be straight back in season 1

“Some people can be quite judgy over being gay. You get a lot of homophobic people. Girls can sometimes be a little bit funny about getting close in case you might fancy them,” Emelle said. She believes it will be easier to get ahead if she appears as a young straight woman.

Emelle further said, “Girls can be a little bit like weird like that, I don’t want any girls feeling uncomfortable. If I’m trying to comfort them, I don’t want them to feel like that’s me trying to get with them.”


Richard Madeley
Cast image of the Circle

Presenter of Good Morning Britain, Richard Madeley, 63, will be competing on the show as a surprise contestant. But if that wasn’t enough, he won’t be playing himself. Rather the viewers will be designing his profile through The Circle app. 

Speaking about why he decided to join, Richard Madeley said, “This is genuinely different. I was aware of the programme. I’d seen a little bit of the last series, and I read quite a lot about it. I was quite intrigued by it at the time, and it got some very interesting write-ups. It’s not your normal reality show. It’s got quite a lot going for it intellectually as well as being a lot of fun.”


Cast image of the Circle.

Brooke, 24, is a disclosure officer for the Home Officer and an avid traveller who puts her holidays up on YouTube. Though she will be playing herself in the show, she does plan to keep her job a secret. “If you’re a catfish, the last thing you want is someone with an analytical brain, and the ‘preeing’ skills that I’ve got that could potentially sniff out who is real and who is fake,” she said.


Cast image

Georgina, 21, works in the tailoring industry and will be playing the game as herself. In relation to why she decided not to catfish, she said, “I worry that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the experience as much if I was constantly trying to channel somebody else.” She will be acting as a keen observer throughout the show in her attempt to suss out the catfish, so expect plenty of mind maps and note-taking. 


Cast image of the Circle

Describing himself as a cross between “Santa and Mrs Doubtfire,” Tim, 58, is a university academic and animator. Tim used to be a monk until he was kicked out of the monastery after receiving a place at Oxford University. As he plays himself, it will be interesting to see how the other contestants react to his life story. 

“You are playing two games at the same time. That’s very exciting. I don’t know if it’s winnable,” Tim said. 


Woody's cast image for the Circle
Cast image

Woody, 18, will be playing himself on the upcoming season but won’t be disclosing he is the son of Zoe Ball and Fat Boy Slim. Recently he has come out as bisexual and said it will be helpful to be open about his sexuality on the show. Going into The Circle, his biggest hope is that he won’t be pre-judged for having celebrity parents.  


Sy's cast image for the Circle
Cast image of the Circle

Sy, a farmer from Somerset, will not be taken on a character but has had personal experience with being catfished in the past. He said, “It was annoying. It put me off online dating sites for a while.” His previous experience with online catfishing might make him more cautious in engaging with the other competitors. 


Cast image of the Circle

Mother of four, Katie, will be competing under the profile of her 25 year-old son Jay in hopes of finding him a girlfriend. She said, “I’m 43 years old. I’m a boring over 40 married mum, compared to a 25-year-old good looking chap. He’ll be so much more popular than me.”

She has acknowledged that it will be “really weird” trying to flirt with other women as her son. 


James' cast image for the Circle
Cast image of the Circle

A 26 year-old recruitment consultant, James, will be taken on the profile of Sammie, a single mother. Though he is going in catfishing, he is determined to win the prize as he believes it will create great opportunities for his family.

Speaking to Channel 4 about why he created the profile, Sammie, “I have enormous admiration for single mums. I was raised by a young single mum. I have nothing but respect for her or anybody else in that position, to be honest, single mums give up everything for their children which is why I chose to present as Sammie in The Circle.”

With an interesting mix of contestants, make sure to check out the series tonight to see how things play out.

The Circle starts at 9.15 pm tonight on Channel 4.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.