The Circle’s Emma Willis on how ‘show is brilliant vehicle for online education’ – Daily Star

Posted: September 27, 2019 at 12:47 am


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Catfishing gameshow The Circle came back for a second series tonight with a new presenter at the helm.

Emma Willis, who has taken over from Maya Jama and Alice Levine, says the programme is a brilliant vehicle for telling people to be aware of who theyre talking to online.

Contestants on The Circle, which this year also includes celebrity participants such as Richard Madeley, solely communicate with each other by social media in a bid to be the most popular person.

While celebs profiles will be determined by viewers using a new app, everyone else will use a profile that they have designed themselves and this means they can pretend to be anyone they want to be in order to claim the 100,000 prize.

Before Id watched it, I was like, This is glorifying what is wrong with social media, where anyone can be anyone. You dont know who youre talking to, admits Emma.

But I hadnt watched it and that was just my opinion. After watching it, I thought its a brilliant vehicle for education, in the way that the game is showing you that you should be so wary of who youre talking to and anything that youre doing online.

Emma, who posed, right, in a string of alter-egos to highlight how easy it is to fake your identity, says she has a healthy relationship with social media. But she admits she likes to keep it at arms length and that she is thoughtful when using it.

I guess I am anti-social on social media! I talk to people I know, but Im of the older generation, I dont trust anyone, she says.

Im always conscious of being realistic on it and painting a true picture of my life, rather than a version of me. I think thats the responsibility we should all be taking. Even if you have that strength I think we can all still get sucked into it.

It should be enjoyable and it should be either a tool for your trade or some way where you can express the things that you enjoy or that youre into, or to stay in touch with friends.

Theres a whole world of people listening, watching and judging. I dont mean edit yourself and only put the best version out there, but just be thoughtful.

Emma, 43, says Instagram is her favourite platform, despite being against it for a long time. I actually find Instagram a much more positive place than Twitter.

I think because its all based on a picture thats much easier and people want to see nice pictures, not nasty ones, she says. I wouldnt write anything that was offensive (on social media), and I try not to be judgmental.

Lifes too short for that. If thats your bag, get on with it. But for me its a waste of energy and time. Im here for happy reasons. None of that negative s***. Dont drag me into your pit.

With The Circle contestants having to move in to flats for over three weeks to participate in the show, its drawn comparisons to Big Brother, the programme Emma presented from 2014 to last years final ever series on Channel 5.

However, Emma says she sees it quite differently from Big Brother. I always viewed Big Brother with the purist mentality that it was a social experiment, she says.

I hated Big Brother being compared to a game, but I very much watch The Circle as a game, seeing who is going to be themselves and who is going to play it to try to be the most popular and win that money.

And she admits while shed love to see the return of Big Brother, which drew almost six million viewers in its heyday, there are no plans to bring it back.

I miss it so much and I think wed all love it to come back, says Emma. I get emotional thinking about it, but the reality of it is there are no plans to bring it back and you cant wait for something that might never happen.

Even if I did wait, they might not want me to do it, so what are you meant to do? Never work again because youre waiting for something that may never happen? So with The Circle it really felt like the right thing for me to do next.

And Emma, who has three young children Isabelle, Ace and Trixie with husband of 11 years, Busted singer Matt Willis, is extremely busy at the moment.

As well as hosting The Voice, she recently returned for the second series of the W Channels Delivering Babies, where she worked four shifts a week as a maternity care assistant. I like variety, I dont like to pigeonhole myself and I like working for different channels as well, she says. It keeps things interesting.

I often get asked about my bucket list and I should have some big answer, like, I really want to do this or that, but I just want to keep working.

I love my job and hopefully I can keep doing it for as long as possible. Thats my bucket list! I have pinch-me moments all the time.

I never ever, ever thought this would be my life. I kind of pinch myself every day, really its a cheesy answer, but its true!

Episode 2 of The Circle is on Channel 4 tonight at 10pm .

Excerpt from:
The Circle's Emma Willis on how 'show is brilliant vehicle for online education' - Daily Star

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September 27th, 2019 at 12:47 am

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