'The Circle' dropped by Channel 4 after three series

Emma Willis hosts 'The Circle'. (Channel 4)
Emma Willis hosted 'The Circle'. (Channel 4)

Hit reality show The Circle has been dropped by Channel 4.

The third series of the cat-fishing programme recently ended, with Natalya Platonova crowned the winner.

It has now been confirmed that the series - which was hosted by Emma Willis - will no longer air on Channel 4.

A spokesman told Yahoo in a statement: “The Circle has been a huge hit for young audiences and has grown successively over three seasons on Channel 4, consistently outperforming slot averages.

"We're incredibly proud to have worked with Studio Lambert North and Motion Content Group to invest in such an innovative show and to have given it a springboard for its international format success.

Watch: Deleesa (a.k.a. Trevor) Reveals All 'The Circle' Game Plans and Announces a New Arrival!

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"In much the same way as when we originally commissioned The Circle, Channel 4 has a responsibility to continually look at how we reinvent and create space for new ideas, and so we have decided not to commission the show for a fourth season.

"We'd like to thank Studio Lambert, Motion and all those involved for The Circle's huge success over the last three series."

However, there is some hope for The Circle, with Broadcast reporting that Netflix is interested in picking it up.

The Circle - celebrity
'The Circle' has been a hit with reality TV fans. (Channel 4)

The show sees contestants communicating via social media, where they are able to play as themselves or catfish by pretending to be someone totally different.

It started in 2018 and returned for further series in 2019 and this year. It also aired a celebrity edition, which was won by Lady Leshurr.

The Circle fans have taken news of its cancellation badly, with many expressing their shock on Twitter.

"What the hell are they playing at???" asked one, while another tweeted: "Genuinely gutted hearing that The Circle has been cancelled.

"British reality TV has long been stale and uninteresting and The Circle was a fresh burst of social strategy."

Read more: Richard Madeley departs The Circle confessing he missed Judy

Lady Leshurr
Lady Leshurr won the celebrity version of 'The Circle'. (Channel 4)

Another disappointed fan posted: "No!!!!! The most strategic, twistiest cliff-hanger-y appointment to view competition on telly. And the last series was SO GOOD.

"Hopefully @netflix, which airs The Circle US, will take over..."

Watch: Matt Willis claims Church of Scientology tried to break up marriage to Emma Willis