Channel 4 has recommissioned The Circle for a third series alongside an additional celebrity series, as part of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.
Host Emma Willis will return, and comedian Sophie Willan will resume her role as voiceover in the brand-new third series, which will kick off with a special week-long celebrity edition in 2021.
Returning to Salford, Greater Manchester, the large-scale production is planned to begin later in 2020 and the search for new players is on. Filming will proceed in line with Covid-19 filming guidelines prompting a change to the format that will see the UK series closely reflect the international versions of the show which are pre-recorded. Accordingly, there will be no studio audience or live shows.
In 2019 it was Channel 4’s highest rating 10pm series for 16-34-year-old viewers since 2010 and was one of All 4’s top 10 most viewed titles of the year.
Emma 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 centre 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 line-up 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 Programmes 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 game play, drama, and tears…”
Speaking about the scale of the production 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.”