ITV This Morning: Emma Willis admits she didn’t agree with Channel 4 show The Circle
Emma, 43, joined This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield, 57, and Holly Willoughby, 38, on today’s show ahead of The Circle’s return next week. The Channel 4 reality programme sees the former Big Brother host take on the presenting duties, but she may not have accepted the job as the star didn’t agree with the premises of the show to begin with.
The Circle began last year, formerly presented by BBC Radio One stars Maya Jama, 25, and Alice Levine, 33, and saw a group of strangers live in an apartment block in separate flats.
Contestants were only allowed to communicate with each other through means of social media platform The Circle and they could pretend to be a complete stranger.
Winner Alex Hobern managed to fool his fellow finalists by posing as his real-life girlfriend Kate, landing a cash prize of £75,000.
It was the premises of “cat-fishing” which left Emma a little unnerved when the show launched around the same time the final series of Big Brother began on Channel 5.
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Asked by the This Morning hosts how she felt about watching the show she is now hosting, Emma replied: “Very sceptical.
“I was sceptical about it before I watched it because if I’m honest, I prejudged it totally,” the presenter added before revealing why she disagreed with the premises.
“Because I thought it’s essentially cat-fishing and should we really be celebrating that and then I watched it and I had a totally different opinion.
“For me, it was like a glowing beacon of what we should all be aware of on social media and that is do not trust anybody.
I was sceptical about it
“I’m super paranoid; I don’t trust anybody with anything especially on social media because you don’t know who you’re talking to,” Emma continued.
Phillip asked The Circle host if the concept would work this time around as contestants are bound to know they could be being cat-fished.
“It’s there choice to whether they play themselves – I think it’s really hard to catfish,” the presenter explained.
As well as the host of the reality programme being changed, Emma revealed some other differences fans of the show will see during the new series.
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Similarly to Big Brother, there will now be live shows on Friday evenings hosted by Emma where viewers can have their say on the drama unfolding.
The audience will also have greater control over what happens within the apartment block setting via an app created to make the show more inclusive.
Although there have been comparisons to the reality programme she previously hosted, Emma explained they are completely different shows.
“The thing with Big Brother is that for me, I always viewed it with the purist mentality, it was a social experiment.”
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The This Morning guest continued: “That is always how I watched Big Brother. But this, I very much watch it as a game.
“I hated Big Brother being compared to a game but this is clearly a game with the interaction of people, how they’ll react in certain scenarios and then seeing who is going to be themselves and who is going to play it to try and be the most popular and win that money.”
Revealing how she became a fan of The Circle despite hosting Big Brother at the time, Emma explained: “I came late to this party, because we [Big Brother] were up against each other last year and I was like, ‘What is this show?’
“But I have lots of friends that worked on Big Brother over the years that had been watching it [The Circle]. And then I watched it, and much as I hated to admit it, I just got sucked in!”
This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.
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