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C4 commissions The Circle from Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group

Channel 4 has commissioned Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group to produce The Circle, a bold new factual entertainment series that will ask provocative questions about modern identity, how we portray ourselves and how we communicate through social media.

Our social circles used to consist of a handful of friends we saw regularly, now it can be made up of hundreds of individuals many of whom we have never met in real life. Social media has radically changed the way we make friends, conduct relationships, argue and even fall in love, but how truthful are our internet identities? And what are we prepared to do to be popular, when others can’t see who we really are?

In The Circle individuals from all walks of life will compete in a popularity contest to win up to £50,000. They will all live in one modern block but separately in individual apartments, interacting with one another exclusively through a bespoke voice-activated social media platform called The Circle.

Like many people using social media today, The Circle will enable them to chat, make friends, argue and maybe even fall in love. Building their own profiles, contestants will only get to know each other from what they choose to reveal via The Circle. They will be able to communicate as a group or individually, allowing cliques to form and private allegiances to be made.

Popularity matters and all will be trying to avoid being judged least popular by the rest of The Circle. Throughout the contest the competitors will rate each other with whoever is liked the least running the risk of being ‘blocked’ and removed from The Circle. It is only when someone is 'blocked' that the others will learn about who they have really been interacting with. Will they turn out to be who they said they were? How will each member of The Circle play the game and stay popular and will the other competitors believe their hype?

Gilly Greenslade, commissioning editor, Channel 4 said: “Are people we meet online who we think they are? The Circle is unique in that it promises to give viewers the chance to see how tech can change both who we are and how we’re perceived. It's hard to imagine a more timely show. This is a genuinely innovative concept and we are truly excited about the ambition, scale and potential of the project. We are thrilled to be working with Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group on what promises to be both riotously entertaining and a fascinating comment on how we live today.”

Creative Director, Studio Lambert Tim Harcourt added: “It used to just be film-stars, rock-stars and narcissists who would do anything for the adulation of thousands of strangers. Now we’ve all caught the bug. So many of us do bizarre things or become very different versions of ourselves just to be ‘liked’ online. And whilst sometimes social media seems ridiculous and shallow, at other times it becomes a force for positive change. This series promises to explore all of this in a fashion that is dramatic, funny, warm and compelling.”

Martin Oxley, Motion Content Group said: “The Circle is a truly exciting format that will make us all think about our social media behaviour and the people we mix with online and we can’t wait to see it on air. In the hands of the talented teams at Studio Lambert and Channel 4 the show will undoubtedly move fast-turnaround factual entertainment programming to another level”.

The Circle was commissioned by Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes Kelly Webb-Lamb and Factual Entertainment commissioning editor Gilly Greenslade. The series will be made by Studio Lambert with Motion Content Group. Executive producers for Studio Lambert will be Tim Harcourt, Daisy Lilley and Toni Ireland. Martin Oxley will be executive producer for Motion Content Group.

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