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7 November 2019, 16:28 | Updated: 7 November 2019, 16:37
Paddy Smyth, who initially kept his cerebral palsy hidden from the rest of the players, said the show 'taught him a lesson' about judging others.
The 2019 winner of The Circle, Paddy Smyth, has opened up about how the Channel 4 show has changed the way he uses social media.
The 31-year-old, who was born with cerebral palsy in his legs and walks with crutches, said he used to get annoyed about people judging him based off of his pictures, but realised while taking part on the reality show that he’s guilty of it himself.
He told Capital: “I used to say I don’t like people doing it to me and I realise now that I do it to them as well.
“It taught me a lesson.
“I’m definitely going to try and not judge people off their pictures anymore."
Paddy, who was a late arrival on the show and played the game as himself, ended up securing his place in the final by strategically forming an alliance with Georgina and Catsfish Sammie/James. The trio dubbed themselves ‘The Circle Of Trust’ and vowed to stick together while taking out their competition, Ella, Tim and Woody.
The tactic divided viewers but it (literally) paid off for Paddy as he went on to win the £70,000 cash prize.
He said: “I did what I did. I played the game. We had to spice it up in some way! Look, I played a good game, I flew under the radar, I was unassuming. Even though it was a bit sneaky, it paid off!”
It wasn’t plain sailing though, and he admitted he struggled with his conscious at times.
He said: “I had to just keep remembering that I was there for myself and I had to give myself the best fighting chance of getting to that final so I could try and win the money because that’s why I went into the show.
“That’s the fun thing about The Circle. It’s not like all the other reality shows were it’s all about the public vote. It’s about being the most popular in there.”
When asked if he has any words of advice for hopefuls wanting to sign up for next year’s series, he said: “It’s not for the faint hearted!
“It all boils down to how much you want it and how much you want to stay. You don’t realise until you’re in it how competitive you can be.
“Everyone game plays in a certain way. You can be extra nice and friends with everyone or you can be strategic and block the weaker ones.”
But despite all the backstabbing and blockings, the Irishman, who said he wants to 'bedazzle' his crutches with his winnings, insists the gang have become real-life friends and even have a group chat aptly named ‘The Circle’. (And, yes, they speak to each other through voices notes which they start with ‘MESSAGE!’)
“We’re all in there together and we’re all chatting and it’s really fun,” he said.
“Even though we went against each other in different ways it’s a bond that we will share forever.”