Paddy, a gay disability activist with cerebral palsy, wins reality show The Circle

The Circle

Paddy Smyth, a gay disability activist with cerebral palsy, was announced tonight (October 18) as the winner of Channel 4’s reality show The Circle and took home £70,000.

Georgina placed second, Tim and Sammie came joint third, and fifth place was taken by recently out bisexual festival-goer Woody.

Paddy, who was a late arrival to the show, originally introduced himself by saying: “I’m disabled, I’m queer and I’m here.”

He was praised by contestants and viewers alike for his dazzling personality, and his determination to not let his disability get in his way.

Before entering the apartment block, he said that if he were to win he would use the money to help his mum, as his dad recently passed away, but he added:  “I’d bedazzle my crutches and get gold-plated ones… Then I’ll probably squander most of it away and go on a big piss up.”

It was a double queer win, as gay theology professor and cat owner Tim Wilson also took home £30,000 as the “Viewer’s Champion”, voted for by viewers on the night of the final.

In the final episode, the five remaining contestants gave the ratings which would decide the winner of the game, and then met around a table to see each other in person for the first time.

The only remaining “catfish” was single mother Sammie, and the other players were shocked when they discovered that “Sammie” was actually James.

When Tim entered the room, he exclaimed: “Who is this? Oh my god, Sammie! You’re going to have to tell me quite a lot about yourself, you’re a very naughty boy.”

James said he chose to play a single mother because he loves his own mum, who raised him on her own, and he wants to support her by winning the prize money.

However Tim hit back, saying: “It’s really difficult to do a good thing by doing something which is really dodgy.”

Paddy told the other contestants: “My vulnerability is for everyone to see. The Circle gave me the opportunity to see if people liked me for me.”

He also told Woody, the son of Zoe Ball and Fatboy Slim: “You’re hotter in person that you are in your pictures!”

In the live interviews before the winner was announced, professor and former monk Tim revealed what he had learned on the show. He said: “Everyday I was learning!

“New hashtags, new emojis, some very naughty acronyms. The one that’s going through my mind right now is ‘WTF’. Woody taught me another one, ‘MILF’. And I thought, I could be a ‘DILF’!”


In Paddy’s interview, he spoke about his special relationship with fellow contestant Georgina, who lives with Crohn’s Disease.

He said: “Our foundation was that I’ve never met someone who understood what it’s like to have a condition you’re stuck with… It was almost like she was female version of me.”

He added: “[My disability] all people see when they look at me. I realised people love me for who I am and I’ve never really believed that.”

The Circle is now taking applications for its third season.