Here’s How to Watch ‘The Circle UK’ in the US For Free if You’re Obsessed With the American Version

"The Circle UK"
Photo: Courtesy of Channel 4.

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If you’ve watched every episode of the American version on Netflix, you may be wondering how to watch The Circle UK in the US online for free.

The Circle UK, which is the original version of The Circle, premiered in September 2018 and has since led to international spinoffs in the United States, Brazil and France. The show follows a group of contestants who move into separate apartments, where they do not meet face-to-face and instead communicate through messaging devices. The players can play as themselves or as someone else. (A profile can also be played by multiple players.) Throughout the show, the players rate each other. The players with the highest average score from that round become “influencers” and often decide who is eliminated or “blocked.”

In the finale, the remaining contestants rate each other one last name. The highest player wins the series and receives a cash prize. The amount for The Circle UK season 1 was £50,000; season 2 was £70,000; and season 3 was £100,000. Viewers also choose a “Viewers Champion” from the finalist who also receives a cash prize. The season 1 “Viewers Champion” received £25,000; while the season 2 “Viewers Champion” received £25,000. While Circle UK was cancelled in 2021,  the show is still available to stream for free on Channel 4’s website and lives on as the original version of The Circle that started it all. 

So…where can Americans stream The Circle UK? Read on for how to watch The Circle UK in the US online for free to see the original Circle.

"The Circle UK"

Image: Courtesy of Channel 4.

How to watch The Circle UK in the US

How can one watch The Circle UK in the US? The Circle UK is available to stream for free on Channel 4’s website, which has all past four seasons. However, to watch the show in the US, Americans will need a VPN, a service that allows users to set their computer’s location to another country and access websites that would otherwise be restricted by location. The most popular VPNs out there are ExpressVPN, NordVPN and PureVPN—all of which offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read on for how to sign up for them to watch The Circle UK in the US.

How to Watch The Circle UK in the US With ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services, and the one we recommend above all others for a simple reason. The service—which allows users to set their location to more than 160 locations in 90 countries with unlimited bandwidth—offers a 30-day free trial and a money-back guarantee. After the free trial ends, Express VPN costs $8.32 per month for a 12-month plan ($99.95 in total), $9.99 per month for a six-month plan ($59.95 in total) or $12.95 per month for a monthly plan. Along with access to more than 160 locations, Express VPN—which takes about five minutes to set up—also promises lightning-quick connectivity, 24-hour live-chat support and allows users to connect to any device, from computers to phones to tablets. Of course, users can do more than watch international events and shows in the US with a VPN. Along with this event, VPNs also allow users to access international versions of Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO Max (which have different content than in the US) as well as stream international services like Hayu, which has access to programs like the Real Housewives, Below Deck, The Bachelor and hundreds of other reality TV shows.

Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to watch The Circle UK in the US with ExpressVPN’s free trial.

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN and create an account
  2. Log into your ExpressVPN account and click “Download” on the “Dashboard” or in “Set Up Your Devices”
  3. Once you’ve installed Express VPN, enter the “Activation Code” from the “Dashboard” or in “Set Up Your Devices”
  4. Once ExpressVPN is set up, change your location to “UK” by clicking the connect icon to read “Connected” and selecting the country in the “Smart Location” menu
  5. Visit the The Circle UK page on Channel 4’s website
  6. Sign in or create an account and watch The Circle UK in the US

How to Watch The Circle UK in the US With NordVPN

Nord VPN is another popular VPN service recommended by YouTubers like PewDiePie, Casey Neistat and Philip DeFranco. The service—which offers a 30-day free trial and a money-back guarantee—costs $3.29 per month for two-year plan ($78.96 in total), $4.99 per month for a one-year plan ($59.88 in total) or $11.99 per month for a monthly plan. Along with access to more than 59 countries, NordVPN also allows users to connect to multiple devices (from computers to phones to tablets) and offers a 24-hour live-chat support. Read on for step-by-step instructions for how to watch The Circle with NordVPN‘s free trial.

  1. Log into your NordVPN account and click “Downloads” on the left-side menu
  2. Once you’ve installed NordVPN, log into your account
  3. Once NordVPN is set up, change your location to the “UK” by clicking “Quick Connect” or searching the country in the menu
  4. Visit the The Circle UK page on Channel 4’s website
  5. Sign in or create an account and watch The Circle UK in the US

How to Watch The Circle UK in the US with PureVPN

Another popular VPN service is Pure VPN, which offers a 31-day free trial and a money-back guarantee. After the free trial ends, users can sign up for Pure VPN for $1.99 per month for a two-year plan ($53.95 in total), $3.24 per month for a one-year plan or $10.95 per month for a monthly plan. Pure VPN offers more than 6,5000 servers in over 78 countries across the world, as well as 24-hour live-chat support. Read on for step-by-step instructions for how to watch The Circle UK in the US with PureVPN’s free trial.

  1. Sign up for PureVPN and create an account
  2. Once you’ve created your account, scroll to the bottom of PureVPN‘s homepage and select the VPN that fits your device: Windows, MAC, IOS, etc.
  3. Click “Download the app”
  4. Once you’ve installed PureVPN, log into your account
  5. Once PureVPN is set up, change your location to the “UK” by searching for the country in the right bar
  6. Visit the The Circle UK page on Channel 4’s website
  7. Sign in or create an account and watch The Circle UK in the US
"The Circle UK"

Image: Courtesy of Channel 4.

How many seasons is The Circle UK?

How many seasons is The Circle UK? There are four seasons of The Circle UK. Season 1 premiered in 2018 and had 18 episodes and 15 contestants; season 2 premiered in 2019 and had 22 episodes and 15 contestants; season 3 premiered in 2021 and had six episodes and 12 contestants; and season 4 also premiered in 2021 and had 21 episodes and 15 contestants. Season 3 was a celebrity-version of The Circle UK titled The Celebrity Circle.

Who is The Circle UK host?

Who is The Circle UK host? The Circle UK host was Emma Willis, a British television and radio presenter  who also hosted Big Brother UK, Celebrity Big Brother UK and The Voice UK.

In an interview with Channel 4 in 2021, Willis explained how The Circle UK worked. “OK so it’s essentially a game of popularity, with people either choosing to be themselves or pretending to be someone else who they consider to be popular, all in a bid to win £100K,” she said. “They talk to each other via The Circle which is our own sort of communication platform so they don’t see the face behind the profile until someone is blocked—there’s twists and turns and then I pop up every now and then and get up to my own mischief!”

She also responded to comparisons between The Circle and Big Brother. “Well it’s undeniable isn’t it—there are definitely similarities there as both shows put a group of people in a building together and we watch how that situation unfolds!” she said. “But I always saw Big Brother as a social experiment, and it stayed true to that over the years, whereas The Circle is very much a gameshow, so they don’t really sit in the same categories for me which was important.”

She also explained how The Circle was affected by the current health crisis. “Well, due to Covid and the current protocols in place, we’re not live this series so my role within The Circle has had to change a bit but I’m a lot more integrated this time which was really fun. You see me become more of a taskmaster, dropping my own bombshells and getting up to a bit of mischief which was amazing so you’ll be seeing a lot more of me this series…” she said.

Willis also admitted how The Circle reflects current life. “We’ve all had to become a bit more adept at using social media and communicating virtually while we’ve had to keep our distance from friends and family,” she said. “It’s been so hard and actually I think it’s made everyone realize just how important communication is and seeing or speaking to our loved ones everyday. While it might not be the same as being together in person, actually picking up the phone and checking in on someone really does make all the difference.”

Willis also told Channel 4 about her thoughts on social media, “Social media is a bit like the angel and the devil – on the one hand it allows you to connect with family and friends and can be really helpful but on the other hand you never really know who is behind the screen and there are some real-life catfishes out there that people need to be wary of,” she said. “I’ve always thought of The Circle as a kind of beacon to show people just what can happen on social media and how easy it is to pretend to be someone else. You just need to make sure you’re aware of all the positives as well as all the negatives so you know how to navigate it properly.”

The Circle UK is available to stream on Channel 4‘s website with a VPN. Here’s how to watch it for free.

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