The Circle star Scott Paige has said he wanted to “break the mould” and change perceptions of elderly people by playing his grandmother on the Channel 4 reality show.
The actor, 30, from Manchester is the latest contestant to get the boot from the series.
He said he chose to play 85-year-old Dorothy because it would give him a chance to test his acting abilities.
He told the PA news agency: “I thought if I want to go in as a catfish, I need to be someone that is different, and also that I would think would be popular in the show.
“I’m an actor, so I thought I’m going to use that to my advantage, really.
“And also, some people might find me a little bit boring as myself or a bit too much.
“Some people think I’m like Christopher Biggins on acid, and they’ll be like ‘No, too much, absolutely too much’.”
He added: “An 85-year-old lady has never been in The Circle and my nan isn’t your stereotypical 85-year-old, she’s active and she’s just full of life and full of energy and dances around and is just a lover of life.
“So I thought, why not be my nan? She’d never seen The Circle before so I had to explain a lot of what it was. She initially thought I was going in dressed as an old lady with a wig and a cardigan and doing her voice. So I had to explain a lot.”
Paige said he spent hours with his grandmother learning facts about her personal life and the history she had lived through.
He added: “I wanted to get it across that my nan is not your stereotypical 85-year-old and she does dance, and I think for some people it was difficult to grasp that – they thought ‘Is that real for an 85-year-old to be so active and to still be dancing?’
“It was hard to get that across because this is true. If you saw my nan, you would realise that is what I’m portraying.”
“I wanted to sort of break that mould and also, if elderly people watch the show, I want them to go ‘Oh I’d love to do that.’
“I want Dot to be an inspiration for them as well as me because age is just a number and I went in there to show Dot is a lover of life. She loves life, she does things that are spontaneous, and she just wants to live life to the fullest.
“So why not do a programme like this? So I want that to come across to the elderly generation.”
Dorothy said she was overwhelmed by how good a job her grandson did at portraying her, adding: “I was thinking, how was he going to cope?
“Golly, I thought it’s gonna be really hard. But he mastered it completely.
“I’m over the moon, I can’t tell you. Words can’t express how I feel.”
She said she is now hooked on the show, saying: “I don’t want him to tell me a lot.
“I’ve just been watching and I’m absolutely tied to it. I love it. And I’ll still carry on watching it.”
– The Circle continues on Sunday-Friday on Channel 4 at 10pm.