The Circle has had us absolutely hooked since it returned with a brand new series on Netflix this month, and what’s better? It’s filmed right here in good old Manchester.
The former Channel 4 series, which has been running for six series now across the UK and US, sees each contestant given their very own luxury apartment, all of which are decked out with incredible brightly coloured interiors and plush furnishings. It’s a good job, too, since they spend the entirety of their time on the show in complete isolation, talking to anonymous beings via the show’s very own social media network.
But where is it filmed?
The apartment building can be found by the River Irwell on the edge of the city centre in Salford, and is known as the Adelphi Wharf 1 building.
Developed by Fortis Group, the luxury building consists of 369 apartments, with one-bedroom apartments (which are used in the show) costing around £145,000 each. Two-bedroom apartments are currently listed on Rightmove at £185,000 and renters can expect to fork out around £800pcm for a one-bedroom apartment.
Not only do the residents get to benefit from an open-plan layout and en-suite rooms, but they also get to enjoy a rooftop garden overlooking the river and an onsite gym. Both can be seen on the show, with The Circle players often enjoying a hot tub on the rooftop while chatting to fellow players.
While players are shown enjoying the hot tub and a yoga room in the show, it does not appear that these amenities are actually part of the building and are likely to have been set up by the production team for the benefit of the players.
The apartments featured on the show all include unique decor with expensive-looking furniture and fun finishings such as multi-coloured kitchens, panelled walls and more – however, in real life, the apartments actually come as a blank canvas – with white walls, plain floors and natural-toned kitchens to suit everyone’s tastes. Most rentals are complete with grey furniture, meaning tenants can add more personal touches with furnishings when they move in.
It’s reported that the production team spends up to £4000 per apartment decorating for the show.
Fans of the series will notice that both Channel 4’s The Circle and Netflix’s The Circle US are filmed in the same apartments, with the American contestants flown into the specially-decked out apartments for filming. It’s a sneaky little trick on Netflix’s behalf given that they’ve edited general shots of Chicago into the show, however, it makes perfect sense given that the rooms are already set up especially for filming.
Producers have kitted each apartment out with multiple screens in each room, all of which are hooked up to the dedicated social media platform where they can chat with other players and keep their eyes peeled for unexpected alerts from presenter and Circle-bomb-dropper Michelle Buteau, who is the fun host of Netflix’s version of the reality show.
Being a residential building, the lucky folk who live at Adelphi Wharf actually continue with their day-to-day lives alongside filming, so, unfortunately, we’re not actually able to visit the set (unless you’re genuinely interested in an apartment there).
For those who are interested in how it all works, two years ago, season one winner Alex revealed a few behind-the-scenes secrets, including the fact that all players have to wear earphones when walking to the gym or to the rooftop (presumably to avoid overhearing any of the other players while in their apartments), and that the production team would also only allow one day’s worth of groceries for players, just in case they were ‘blocked’ from The Circle that day. You can find his videos here and here.
The Circle is currently airing its latest series on Netflix, and while it appears only the US version will continue, Spice Girls Emma Bunton and Mel Brown recently made an appearance as contestants on the show.