Channel 4 to air The Circle celebrity spin-off

Channel 4 has announced a week-long, celebrity version of The Circle.

Contestants only communicate with each other online while housed separately in a block of flats in the show.

Production of a third, main series, with Emma Willis back as host, is set to begin later this year, in line with social distancing guidelines.

The celebrity edition in aid of Stand Up To Cancer will air in 2021.

Contestants can adopt fake identities and in 2018, Alex Hobern scooped the cash prize after pretending to be a woman to the other players.

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.”

Gilly Greenslade, who commissioned all three series, said: “When we were developing the series three years ago, I knew it would reflect how we live but I never expected it to be quite so prophetic.

“Now, many more of us have had a taste of living our lives isolated and online, I am excited to see the strategies and tactics that the new players bring to the game. I hope that this show will bring some much-needed joy and hilarity to our TV screens.”

Comedian Sophie Willan will resume her voiceover role in the third series.

As a result of social distancing rules, the show will be pre-recorded and there will be no studio audience or live programmes.

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