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BBC rewards faithful Traitors fans with series two release date announcement

The BBC has announced when The Traitorswill return for series two – and there is not long to wait.

Last December, the game show became a word-of-mouth hit throughout its three weeks on the air, with many watching it over the Christmas period.

The series, hosted by Claudia Winkleman, sees 22 strangers play “the ultimate game of detection, backstabbing and trust” at a Scottish Highlands castle, in the hope of winning up to £120,000.

Among the contestants are three traitors who must connive their way through the competition without being detected by the 18 faithfuls.

After the series, which is executive produced by Studio Lambert, came to a dramatic conclusion on 22 December, viewers were left wondering if the show would return for a second outing.

Series two was swiftly confirmed, and last month, the BBC began airing short promos revealing new episodes would be “coming soon”.

On Tuesday (5 December), the corporation announced that The Traitors would be returning early in the new year.

The show will return on Wednesday 3 January at 9pm on BBC One, with the following two episodes becoming available on iPlayer immediately after.

Following this, The Traitors will be broadcast on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. There will also be a spin-off show in which the “murdered” faithfuls find out which of their fellow contestants were working against them all along.

American and Australian versions of the series, all filmed in the same castle, are currently available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Claudia Winkleman on ‘The Traitors’ (BBC)
Claudia Winkleman on ‘The Traitors’ (BBC)

Speaking at the 2023 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards in London in March, Winkleman said that she knew the show had the potential to become a big hit following two big moments during filming.

“We did not see any of this coming,” she said. “We went to Inverness and made a little show where people couldn’t trust anyone. We were like, ‘Never mind – we had fun.’ And then something sort of magic happened and Twitter took over.”

When she was asked when she knew “we were onto something special”, Winkleman replied: “I think probably the first roundtable. So we were up there and the surroundings were beautiful, there was a peacock and I was wearing quite a lot of tweed – and then the first roundtable happened and they kicked out Nicky.”

She continued: “Nicky was there for a real reason, an important reason, and I thought, ‘Hold on a minute, just hold on a second – something’s happening here.’”

Nicky had made no secret of the fact that she was hoping to use the show’s prize fund in order to purchase a myoelectric model prosthetic hand that she could control with her thoughts.

Winkleman recalled another roundtable moment in which executive producer Sarah Fay was forced to step in, telling her through an earpiece, to “watch” her breathing.

Earlier this month, Winkleman announced plans to step down from hosting her Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2 after three years.

The presenter, who co-hosts Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly, said she would be leaving in March 2024 to spend more time with her family.

Winkleman, who currently presents the 10am-1pm slot on Saturdays, will be replaced by comedian Romesh Ranganathan.