The nation's most famous block of flats welcomes its latest set of residents. A £100k prize is at stake in an unpredictable game of popularity. The players will be living just metres apart, but they can't see or hear each other. Instead they communicate via a voice-activated platform called The Circle.
PLAYING AS: Himself
• What is your MOTIVATION FOR ENTERING THE CIRCLE? What is it about the game that made you want to apply?
I have always been a fan of reality TV. I live for drama, chaos and anarchy! There has never been an Asian winner of a civilian reality TV show in the UK, I want to try and make history.
In life, looks matter a lot and if you’re not commercially attractive your opinion matters less, but in The Circle everyone has an equal voting power, so people will be forced to acknowledge me. I’m someone who has always felt overlooked and ignored, so this might be the only place in life where I’m going to get an equal level of recognition.
• Have you watched the show before and did that give you any tips on how to play the game?
I hadn’t watched it before applying, my friends said I’d be really good on the show so thought why not? I see 2020 as a new decade of success, it was a fresh start to try and achieve TV stardom! I have now caught up on all of series two.
• What is your STRATEGY to win show? Are there any specific tactics that you think will help you win?
My strategy is so different to what we’ve seen before. The premise is to base my decisions on facts rather than feelings. It’s purely based on statistical elements rather than emotions and my job has helped me in that regard.
• Why did you decide to play yourself and not another character?
Initially, I was either going to be myself or I was considering being a white man because from the research I’ve done on British reality TV shows, white men have been the most popular demographic.
Looking at last year’s series, 3 out of 5 of the finalists played as white men. It showed that it’s a popular demographic. But I want to be the first Asian to win a civilian reality show and I want to do that while playing an Asian otherwise I think it defeats the objective. I feel like Asian’s are underrepresented in reality TV and entertainment. There has never been an Asian winner in a civilian reality TV show that I’m aware of. If anyone else wins this series it may be iconic, but if I win this series it will be truly historic.
• What do you want viewers at home to think of you or learn from you? I want to show people that they can think rationally when they make decisions. I also want to show that you can be tactical and strategic without being malicious and aggressive.
• How do you feel about being on TV?
I’m really excited. Ultimately it is something I have wanted since childhood. I’m not just here for my 15 minutes of fame. I’m looking to create reality TV history.
• How much do you use social media in the real world?
I feel like I use it all the time, but I don’t use many platforms – for example whilst many people may link their Tik Tok and Instagram channels to their Circle application – I used my LinkedIn.
I wouldn’t say I enjoy social media, it’s just relevant to exist nowadays. For example, I only got Instagram in order to help me get reality TV opportunities like this one.
I don’t think the social media is a bad thing in itself, it’s just how some people use it.
• In real life how does your online social media self differ to who you really are in person?
I think it’s quite similar to how many people use social media in their lives, trying to show the best parts of my life. Also, social media makes it easier for me to interact with people who, perhaps in real life, I wouldn’t feel would be interested in communicating with me.
• Who do you admire on social media? Who do you think uses it well? I don’t really admire anyone on social media. I don’t use social media to follow celebrities I just use it to interact with people with common interests or my friends.
• Have you ever been catfished? Or caught a catfish?
Thousands of times! I’ve been catfished more times than I haven’t been catfished. In fact, at Uni I used to have a rule that I would only meet people if they were walking distance away so that if they turned out to be a catfish I hadn’t wasted money on travel and still got some exercise! I feel like I’ve become quite immune to catfish.
• Do you think you'll be able to spot any catfish on the show?
Yes, I hope so! Since I’ve been catfished so many times, I should be able to spot them now! There’s lots of discrepancies that would put me on catfish alert.
• Do you think what you say on The Circle matters or will you say anything if it would help you win?
It’s not about what I say to win. The chats aren’t as critical. For me it’s the ratings and blockings that are more important. Making those strategic decisions will help me make reality TV history.
• Do you ever use social media to flirt or look for love?
Not really, because I’m not looking for a relationship.
• Has social media made it easier or more difficult for you to find romance? Do you think it is possible to fall in love online?
I do feel like social media helps people hide their weaknesses and makes it more of a level playing field. It reduces the importance of appearance because people are aware of photo editing, so most people know what you see in photo isn’t going to quite be the reality, but this means your personality has more of a chance to shine.
• Will you be open to people flirting with you on the show?
Yes I am but I don’t expect to be flirting that much back because I know it’s not one of my strengths.
Knowing my strengths and weaknesses is what I believe will help me in The Circle and I know flirting it not my strength so I’m not going to focus time on that.
• Do you want to win? How far will you go to win?
I’ve always wanted to be on a reality TV show since childhood so I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.
• What would you do the prize money?
I would buy a gift for everyone who was in the final with me, because they would need to rate me high in order for me to win and make history.
I would buy the gift based on who they are in The Circle so if they are a catfish the joke is on them.
I would take my family on a holiday because we didn’t get to go on our big trip back to Sri Lanka for my Mum’s 50th Birthday because of Covid. I would call it the ‘I told you so’ trip because my parents think I have no chance of winning. The rest of the money I would keep as a reserve, for things like property and wigs because my hairline is receding.
• Any surprising facts or hidden talents that we should know about you?
Limbo is my party trick. I think I beat most people at limbo!