The Circle is back for 2019 and this year, Channel 4 have made some serious changes to the show. From a weekly live episode and a longer run to more players than before, there’s a lot being mixed up.
It has also moved from the series 1 home in London to Salford, Manchester. And the London-based hosts of the show have been replaced with northerner Emma Willis too!
But there’s one Bolton lass who’s remained a permanent feature of the show and that’s the voice over. And the decision to keep on the same narrator has caused a split with the viewers.
So, who is the voice over of the series? Let’s get to know her a bit better here.
The Circle: Voice over
The narrator of the series is 32-year-old Sophie Willan.
Sophie was born and raised in Bolton, growing up in and out of care homes.
Much of Sophie’s comedic career has stemmed from the contents of her childhood. Her debut stand up show, On Record, dealt with the issue of living in and out of Britain’s care system.
Sophie performed On Record for the first time in 2016 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and it was widely critically acclaimed and had a sell-out run. It was followed with a nationwide tour in 2017.
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Sophie Willan: Career bio
Following her debut at the Fringe and success with On Record, Sophie followed-up with another smash hit success at the Fringe a year later. This cemented her as one of the country’s most exciting new comedy stars.
Sophie’s 2017 show, Branded, dealt with her work as an escort and sex worker when she was younger. This show won her a Herald Angel Award from the Glasgow Herald and a nomination for Best Show at the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
In 2018, Sophie went international! She took Branded to Australia for the Melbourne Comedy Festival and performed it for a month out there.
Apart from The Circle and stand-up, Sophie also has her own radio show on BBC Radio 4 called ‘Sophie Willan’s Guide to Normality.’
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Sophie divides the fans
Becoming a successful voice over artist for reality series has become increasingly difficult since the rise of Love Island and Iain Stirling.
In the good old days of reality television, the narrator would comment on the what-nots of the show in a straight manner, as they did in Big Brother. But the success of Iain has meant other reality shows are searching for comedians to replicate his commentary style.
And in some places, as with The Circle, it’s very hit or miss.
Many viewers took to Twitter to call Sophie’s narration “grating” and “annoying.” Others pointed out that it was clear they were seeking to replicate Iain Stirling’s narration. One even added that they were not sure they could make it through the season with Sophie’s voice over.
But some are serious fans of hers, calling her the “real presenter” of The Circle.
— Elliot Gonzalez (@elliot_gonzalez) September 24, 2019
Putting a face to the name
If you’re tired of only hearing Sophie’s voice on The Circle and you want to put a face to the voice, then be sure to check her out on Instagram @sophiewillan.
Most of her snaps are about her latest works along with selfies and more humorous posts.
But the best place to get updates on Sophie is to follow her on Twitter here where she frequently writes about what she’s up to.
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