Channel 4's 'The Circle' confirmed for season 3 return and celebrity series

Host Emma Willis at the live final of the second series of Channel 4's The Circle, in Salford, Manchester. (Photo by Peter Powell/PA Images via Getty Images)

Channel 4 has confirmed reality show The Circle is returning for a third series, with production set to begin later in 2020.

In addition, it has been announced that a shorter, star-studded edition of the popular Studio Lambert creation entitled The Celebrity Circle will take place as part of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.

COVID-19 filming guidelines will be implemented on the show as it slightly alters the format to no longer include live shows or studio audiences.

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The programme has typically seen little interaction between the contestants who are are isolated to their own apartments in a block as they interact via messaging.

Winner Paddy Smyth (in pink), host Emma Willis (cente) and Viewer's Champion Tim Wilson celebrate with the other finalists and blocked contestants after the final of the second series of Channel 4's The Circle in Salford, Manchester. (Photo by Peter Powell/PA Images via Getty Images)

Participants can chose to either play as themselves or assume another's identity in the game of popularity which offers a cash prize to the winner.

Contestants have only come face-to-face ahead of the finale in the previous two series in the event of a game-player been kicked out of the titular ‘Circle’.

Emma Willis will be coming back to her role as presenter while Sophie Willan returns to provide the voiceover.

Willis said of the news: "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!

James Doran, 26, from Liverpool, who played as single mother 'Sammie',in his apartment at The Circle in Salford, Manchester, ahead of the live final of the second series of Channel 4's The Circle. (Photo by Peter Powell/PA Images via Getty Images)

"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.”​

In 2019 it was Channel 4’s highest rating 10pm series for 16-34 year old viewers since 2010 as well as one of All 4’s top 10 most viewed titles of the year.

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Meanwhile Tim Harcourt, Studio Lambert’s Creative Director, said: “Our large freelance production team can’t wait to make another series of The Circle for Channel 4 and are excited to be launching a celebrity version for Stand Up To Cancer.

"Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, people around the world have been learning the power of connecting remotely. Perhaps in the light of this, the new series will resonate even more for audiences as well as offer them the distraction of fun, warmth and strategy.”