In the wake of the news that Big Brother is to end after 18 years, Channel 4 are tonight launching a brand new reality TV series, The Circle and here's a first look at the starting line-up.
Hosted by Alice Levine and Maya Jama, The Circle is a brand new reality show for the social media age. The players will all move into the same building but live in completely separate apartments, just inches away from each other.
They can't see or hear one another so instead, to win the cash prize of up to £50,000, they’ll communicate only using a specially-designed, voice-automated social media platform, called The Circle.
The only thing they’ll see of each other is what they choose to share. They could portray themselves as younger, older, fitter, frumpier or foxier. They could become a totally different person, or simply be themselves.
The players will spend up to three weeks getting to know each other and will compete in hi-tech VR games and physical challenges. Crucially, they’ll all be trying to be the most popular person in The Circle because in The Circle, being liked is everything.
Every few days, the players will rate each other. The most popular players will become "Influencers" whilst the least liked run the risk of being blocked and booted out of The Circle altogether.
Once they’ve been blocked, they’ll get the chance to meet another player face-to-face and if they haven’t been telling the truth, it could get seriously awkward.
The Circle enables players to chat, make friends, break friends, argue, compete against each other, flirt and maybe even fall in love, while playing to win up to £50k.
So, it's time to meet the players, and if you want to see the profile pictures they'll be using, swipe right!
Single and playing as herself.
Aiden works in a call centre by day and is “Wakefield’s favourite" shot girl by night. She’s an up-and-coming Insta queen who wears her heart on her sleeve, is very trusting and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt.
She thinks she’s down to earth and can chat to absolutely anyone. On top of that, she’s lived her life through social media; perfecting her look and her personality on Instagram and feels The Circle is the perfect popularity contest for her.
Her strategy is to play the game just as she plays out her life on social media with the perfect pout and the perfect banter. She feels she doesn’t need to change her looks or her personality because she’s already the social media real deal.
Has a girlfriend of two years and is playing as Kate.
Alex carved out his early career as one of the content producers for UNILAD and worked his way up through social marketing before launching his own comedy and memes account. He has over 400,000 fans globally across different platforms.
He lives and breathes social media and has already made a huge success for himself online and wants to see if he can do it again starting a social media profile from scratch.
Alex wasn’t very popular at school and so he has decided to play the game using the photos of someone he thinks has the potential to be even more likeable than he is, his girlfriend. In The Circle he plans to flirt with the boys and befriend the girls in a bid to be most popular. Alex isn’t new to the concept of being “catfished” as he was prey to a catfish in his very own Tinder nightmare! He had been messaging a 25-year-old, petite Canadian blonde called Taylor only to turn up to a date to find out Taylor was actually an older man!
Single and playing as himself.
Dan is a former estate agent who prides himself on his charming sales skills and describes himself as ambitious, honest, impatient, caring and loyal. A natural flirt, Dan is single and looking for the one to settle down with.
He wants to win the £50k and have an experience he would never be able to be a part of in any other walk of life. He also enjoys spending time by himself with turtle Fiji, so thinks he has the temperament to last three weeks on his own.
Dan thinks that everyone on social media is selling themselves, so as the ultimate salesmen he believes he has a huge advantage in the game and is hoping his sales skills and subtle manipulating will get everyone on side.
Single and playing as himself but straight.
Freddie is an energetic, loud and straight-talking call centre worker from Essex. He’s openly gay and has a habit of going after straight guys, always wanting what he can’t have.
He wants to win the £50k and thinks he has the personality to do it. He feels people make assumptions about him based on his sexuality, so he’s planning to see if he can win as an altered version of himself.
Freddie will be “playing it straight" using his own profile photos and being himself, with the exception that he is changing his sexuality. The biggest challenge for Freddie will be if there’s a sexy man in The Circle and he blows his own cover.
Single and playing as herself, but not revealing all.
Genelle is a stay-at-home mum to her 6-month-old daughter, Santanna. Since becoming a mum she believes that her social life has shrunk and has found social media has become a great way to stay connected.
She thinks her life has changed since having a baby and believes that The Circle will allow her to paint a more interesting version of her life, that isn’t all about nappies and naptimes.
Genelle will be moving into her apartment with her baby but she won’t be telling any of the other players that she’s got a child with her. In fact she isn’t even going to tell them she’s a mum, because thinks other people may assume her life is a bit boring.
Genelle is pan-sexual and that’s something she won’t be holding back in The Circle.
Married and playing as a doctor.
Jennifer is the MD of a Google Analytics company that uses data harvested online to work out how to sell her clients products to people. She is married with 6-year- old twins and hates social media for the unrealistic ideals it imposes on people and the attention seeking it encourages, especially for young girls.
She won’t allow her daughters to go on it now and is heartbroken at the idea of them using it in the future and wants to use The Circle to prove how fake the online world is and win by posing as someone completely different.
Jennifer believes she can create a profile people will have no choice but to trust, by posing as a doctor. She’ll feed the egos of her fellow players and manipulate her way to victory.
Single and playing as himself.
Mitchell is a bar supervisor from Norfolk and is the self-proclaimed ‘King of Tinder’ and the ultimate lad. He absolutely loves the ladies but there’s no-one he’d rather spend time with than his beloved mum.
He wants to enter The Circle for the money as he wants to spoil his mum and take the boys to Vegas. If he makes new friends and finds a future wife along the way it’d be a bonus. He’s popular in real life and has no problem reeling in the girls online, so he wants to put his natural charm to the test in The Circle.
Mitchell is going to be totally himself in The Circle and hopes to build bromances with the boys and graft all the girls in order to get everyone on side. He loves a cheeky sext, but only the lucky ones will receive one of his infamous 360’ dick pics.
Single and playing as a "Plain Jane" version of herself.
Sian is a fun-loving, fashion student whose modelling career took off when she started posting pictures online. She has a background in athletics, is super competitive and hates to lose at anything.
Even though Sian is a 6ft 1” blonde bombshell, she wants to test whether she can be popular based on just her personality alone. Because she won’t meet other players face to face, The Circle will give her the chance to do just that.
Her strategy is to use her own photos in The Circle but dressing them down, nothing glam like her normal Insta feed. She wants to appear approachable but loves a flirt and can be a chameleon, so will be using that as part of her game plan too.
The Circle starts tonight at 9:15pm and continues every night (apart from Saturdays) at 10pm (10:15pm on Tuesdays) on Channel 4