THE CIRCLE: INTERVIEW WITH PIPPA (MEET THE PLAYERS)
The Circle welcomes two new players tonight at 10pm on Channel 4.
Interview: Channel 4 Press
OCCUPATION: Paralegal in commercial litigation
PLAYING AS: Herself
What is your MOTIVATION FOR ENTERING THE CIRCLE? What is it about the game that made you want to apply?
I'm going in The Circle to prove that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I'm often misjudged by my appearance and the way I look. People assume that I lack intelligence. When me and my friends get chatting with people about what we do for work, when it comes to me people assume it’s something based on aesthetics. I'm always explaining that actually, I have master's degree in law; I've studied law for seven years. There's more to me than meets the eye.
Have you watched the show before and did that give you any tips on how to play the game? There's loads of things that I clocked. For example, when Richard Madeley pretending to be a 27-year-old girl called Judy, his first comment to the group was “Morning all full stop.” whereas I'm 26-year-old girl and we're actually like, “Hey, babe, how are you”. He was writing like my dad speaks to me or like how your boss would write an email. So if I picked up on something like that, I'd be thinking “something's fishy about this”.
What is your STRATEGY to win show? Are there any specific tactics that you think will help you win? I am just being me and hopefully I can build relationships, but genuine relationships. To get far in life in general, you do have to have a good, genuine relationship with some people. Studying law and the career that I'm in is quite strategic. You have to have the art of communication and the gift of the gab to win people over. I play poker as well, so I'm quite good at sensing bluffers. So I'm going to be bringing in all my natural traits, and applying them to the game.
Do you think your legal experience will help you with examining the behaviour of other players? Yeah, I will be looking to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s. If something doesn't add up, I'll be all over it. I'll be sniffing out the fakes.
Why did you decide to play yourself and not another character? So I was going to be a catfish and the story was really extravagant. so extravagant that you wouldn't doubt it. I thought it might just be a bit too much. You don't want to cross the line too much for the sake of winning the game. After considering it, I thought I’d rather go in as myself. I’ve got enough personality to do well in this game. I do think it's going to be quite a challenge because I'm often misjudged on the way I look. People don't assume that I do what I do.
Do you think other players might think you’re a catfish? Yeah, I do. Like I said, I'm often judged to be something that I'm not. People look at me and think "No way do you work in that industry and do 12-hour days". I think there could be a point where someone might challenge me on it, which is fine, because that's the benefit and the beauty of me being me. I do know the answer to legal questions, and I can explain what the system is like. I'm prepared, obviously, because it's my own life.
What do you want viewers at home to think of you or learn from you? I hope I'll come across as my genuine self, being true and being honest, being a girl's girl. I am quite empathetic, so if someone starts getting emotional or if they tell me something sad, I might even cry. I am really soft and not a lot of people see that. There are people who only see me on the internet and see what I want to post, but my close friends know what I'm like. They tell me "Get a grip, you're too soft."
How do you feel about being on TV? I'm okay with it. But my mum is saying, "God, you're so brave." I've told one of my best friends about it and everyday she's texted me saying "Pippa, I'm scared. I'm scared." and I'm like "What are YOU scared of? Because then you're gonna scare me!" I think I'll get used to it after a few days have passed. I'll forget that the cameras are there.
How much do you use social media in the real world? Probably more than I realise. I wake up and I click Instagram, and there's notifications. If I have my phone in my hand, my thumb just finds the Instagram app. Before you know, hours have passed. I use Instagram a lot, and I'm a bit on Snapchat. My friend’s trying to get me to do all these dances on TikTok but I've not got the same rhythm as her, so it’s going to take some practice!
In real life how does your online social media self differ to who you really are in person? I am a very family-orientated person, whereas my social media is mostly just me. Probably too much - it's literally just pictures of my face over and over again; I'm surprised people still follow me! Whereas I am really close with my family. I've got siblings that I’m really close to, but I don’t post them on the internet. I don't post every single move, which obviously some people do. I only post the side of me that’s out and about or glamourous on night's out. With social media, people only see what you want them to see.
Who do you think uses social media well? 50 cent is hilarious. He's mainly promoting his show, Power, and he promotes his alcohol brand. But the things he posts are hilarious. Duval, the singer from America, he posts hilarious stuff too. They're using it well because they get publicity out of it.
Who do you admire on social media? I love Oprah. But I don't know if it's actually Oprah that runs her own account. I love Eva Longoria. She posts a lot of stuff on women's rights in America. These are all American! I should probably follow more British influencers! To be fair, the British reality TV stars work Instagram really well to their advantage.
Have you ever been catfished? I was on Tinder and this guy I was speaking with was saying that he lives on Deansgate. And his mileage was showing up as four miles away, which makes sense. But his pictures were like... American. You know how you just know British houses compared to American houses are different? So I asked him "Did you live in America?" and he said these pictures are in the UK. Then as I kept on scrolling on other profiles, another one came up with the same pictures! So I started getting into dialogue with both these people. Basically, there were two catfishes out there using the same pictures of this guy from America. I'd already been speaking to the first one on WhatsApp and I said to him "There are a lot of catfishes out there. You're gonna have to send me a video", and he sent me a video that had all this American-looking backdrop again. I confronted him and he immediately blocked me and I blocked the other, so I’m no stranger to blockings!
Or caught a catfish? I had messages from guys around Manchester saying "Pippa is this you?" where they’ve shown me Facebook and Twitter profiles using my pictures but with a different name! It didn't make any sense, because they were using my pictures and a different name, but adding everyone from Manchester! So it was always gonna come back to me. They could have at least tried it in another city or something. I just reported the account and that was it. She was messaging everyone, as well! All the guys from my area. It was odd.
Do you think you'll be able to spot any catfish on the show? I hope so. I'm looking for little signs. There's only so long you can keep up a fake act. And I think the environment is going to get more intense than we might all anticipate. You've got no contact with the outside world; you can't speak to your friends and family. I think cracks in their stories will start to show. You see on these shows people feel like they've been there for two months when it's actually been two days. it's very intense. So I think cracks will show and I will be ready to see the cracks.
Do you have any techniques in mind to catch people out? Well, I'm not going to start off by asking too many questions and I'm not going to go in assuming everyone's a catfish because that might trip me up. You don't want to become too obsessed with trying to suss the catfish out rather than actually trying to make connections and friends. If I see people avoiding questions, or trying to dodge round things, or answering your question with a different question, I think that's a red flag.
Do you think what you say on The Circle matters or will you say anything if it would help you win? I want to be my true self. I don't necessarily want to have to be lying to get the upper hand, but it is a game show at the end of the day. If you're not going to play the game, what are you there for? I'm in it to win it.
Do you ever use social media to flirt or look for love? I've been on dating apps, but it's just so high maintenance! There are often a few people that you've matched with at the same time. So someone tells you something interesting about them and then you jump into a conversation somewhere else and you get them all mixed up. I do anyway. I get people confused, so it's not good for me.
Has social media made it easier or more difficult for people to find romance? Do you think it is possible to fall in love online? It probably has made it a lot easier, especially if you don't go out every single weekend. But even if you go out every weekend, you don't want to necessarily always meet someone in a bar or in a club. But then our generation, everyone's on the phone anyway, aren't they? I think it probably helps in the general scheme of things, because it gives people a bit more confidence. I'm quite confident if I like someone, I'm not afraid to have a conversation, but a lot of people aren't like that, so I guess it gives them a starting chance.
Will you be open to people flirting with you on the show? People can flirt with me, but I'm gonna be honest I can't flirt! I'm rubbish. Honestly, I'm horrific – it's a joke. The way I flirt is like "Do you like bread? What's your favourite bread?" and then I get into talking about pitta bread and bread with the seeds in it, and my friends will be like "WHAT are you doing?!"
Do you want to win? How far will you go to win? Obviously, I want to win. I'm in it to win it. I'm very competitive. It's in my DNA. I'm an Aries, So we're first on the Zodiac. I’m coming for it. I'd like to think that I wouldn't snake somebody to win money. I know it's a game, so I'm a bit torn because I know that's what playing a game can be about, but at the same time, it wouldn't be in line with my values as a person to snake someone.
What would you do with the prize money? I would travel the world and I'll take my close friends with me. Remember in Friends when they went around the group talking about what they would do if they won the lottery? When it gets to Ross, he says "I would invest"? That's me! I would probably invest half of it in property. That's quite a boring answer, but I would definitely travel the world at least.
Any surprising facts or hidden talents that we should know about you? I play poker. The other players in the game won't know that. I'm keeping it from them because they might think I'm a good bluffer or I can sense bluffing. And I really enjoy cooking, so I'll be taking a few of my recipes in with me