Until now, we’d been feeling fairly excited about the series two of The Circle kicking off tonight.
It had already been revealed that Channel 4 was planning to amp things up for the show’s second run, bringing in a new host in Emma Willis and adding a weekly live episode to the proceedings to shake things up.
Then we met the contestants and became even more intrigued, thanks to the bigger mix of characters we’d be introduced to when the second series got underway.
But the show’s first twist of the new series has now been confirmed, and our excitement levels are officially at 100. And it’s all thanks to two words: Richard Madeley.
Yes, Channel 4 has announced that Richard Madeley – the man of a thousand memes, awkward moments and brilliant lines (even if they are mostly unintentional) – is to join The Circle as a late addition, but his fellow contestants won’t know it’s him that they’re talking to.
Instead, viewers will vote for one of several personas that Richard will have to maintain during his time on the show, while communicating with his fellow players via the show’s purpose-built social media platform.
“I think what I’m going to have to try and avoid doing is not attempt to be cool or clever, or as we used to say, a very old-fashioned phrase, a wise guy,” he said.
“I think I’ve just got to take it as it comes, basically be quite kind while I’m talking to people and stay away from difficult topics that can easily be misinterpreted.”
The Circle sees contestants living in isolation while communicating with fellow players either as themselves or as a persona they’ve created in a bid to become the most popular and win £100,000.
It had already been revealed that Zoe Ball’s 18-year-old son Woody would be joining the cast, playing as himself but not telling his fellow contestants about his famous parents.
Also taking part in the new series are a 31-year-old lesbian who wants to see how differently she’s treated if she tells her fellow contestants she’s younger and straight, a young man pretending to be a single mother and a mum playing as her 25-year-old son.
The Circle launches on Tuesday 24 September on Channel 4.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.