As the calendar flips to 2024, The Traitors UK is finally gearing up for its second series, promising to plunge viewers back into a world where trust is a rare commodity, and deception is the name of the game.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of a Scottish castle, this psychological thriller of a show is poised to redefine our wintery nights, starting January 3 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer (with iPlayer users getting three episodes at once).
Series 2 of The Traitors UK brings with it the promise of heightened intrigue and strategic gameplay. Claudia Winkleman, the high-spirited host, will once again navigate us through this labyrinth of lies and alliances.
With 22 new participants, a tantalizing prize of £120,000, and an array of new and “epic” challenges, this series is shaping up to surpass the high bar set by its predecessor.
But what exactly can viewers expect from the new season, and how will it keep us on the edge of our seats? Here’s everything we know so far – including the brand-new video trailer.
The Traitors UK – What’s It All About?
The first series of The Traitors UK, which aired in November 2022, was based on the Dutch series De Verraders.
The show was quick to capture the nation’s attention with its unique blend of psychological gameplay and dramatic confrontations.
Set in a picturesque Scottish castle, the show introduced a group of contestants, each eager to win a substantial cash prize. Among the participants were ‘Faithfuls’ and ‘Traitors’, the latter secretly working against the team.
The show’s format, involving tasks, secret meetings, and suspense-filled ‘Round Tables’, enthralled viewers as alliances were formed and trust was tested.
Each night, the Traitors secretly conspired to “murder” a Faithful contestant, removing them from the game.
The remaining contestants were left to puzzle over the missing member at breakfast, before participating in a mission to win money for the prize fund.
At the end of each day, a Round Table was held where players discussed and voted for a player to be banished.
If a Traitor was eliminated, the remaining Traitors had the option to recruit a Faithful to join their ranks, adding a layer of complexity to the game.
The series culminated in a very tense finale (we won’t spoil it if you haven’t watched yet – all Series 1 episodes are available on BBC iPlayer) – leaving fans eagerly awaiting the next installment.
The Traitors UK Series 2: What To Expect
The Traitors is set to return with its second series on January 3, 2024, premiering on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 9pm.
Episodes 2 and 3 will be available on iPlayer immediately after, while those watching on BBC One will have to wait for Thursday and Friday night.
Following that, new episodes will air (and stream) each Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Series 2 of the show promises more gripping entertainment, as Claudia Winkleman will welcome 22 new participants to the grand Scottish castle, setting the stage for another round of deception and strategy, along with a potential prize of £120,000.
This season introduces new elements, including “epic” challenges and strategic modifications, raising the stakes for both the Traitors and the Faithfuls.
Winkleman hints at changes in the gameplay, but since she’s not allowed to say much at this point – she’s only willing to reveal the removal of the armoury and the introduction of a kitchen…
A teaser trailer, which finally reveals the faces of some of Series 2’s contestants, finally dropped last week:
Claudia Winkleman: The Heart of The Traitors UK
Claudia Winkleman, the charismatic and beloved host of The Traitors in the UK, is no stranger to the British television audience.
Her journey in the entertainment industry is marked by a range of successful stints, from presenting on Strictly Come Dancing to hosting her own radio shows.
Her ability to connect with both contestants and the audience alike made her an integral part of The Traitors UK’s appeal.
In a revealing Q&A session, Winkleman shared her thoughts on the show’s surprising success. “We absolutely didn’t [anticipate the show doing so well],” she admits.
The overwhelmingly positive response to the first series was unexpected, leaving her and the team “floored” and “extremely happy.”
Winkleman’s favourite moments from the last series span the gamut of emotions, from the intensity of the first round table to the unexpected betrayals among the Traitors.
She recalls, “The Traitors turning on each other was extraordinary and something we did not predict.
“But there were brilliantly funny moments too, when they’d all laugh together on the missions. I love the friendships that were created in a mad world of betrayal.”
When asked about keeping the series’ secrets, particularly from celebrity fans and friends, Winkleman reveals her straightforward strategy: “I am rarely not in my bed so it was easy to keep the secrets of the final.
“I also know that giving away the ending or any part of it would have ruined it so I just kept schtum.”
Anticipating Series 2
With the second series on the horizon, Winkleman’s excitement is palpable, though not without a hint of nervousness. “So excited,” she says, adding, “I’m obviously terrified people won’t like it as much as series 1, but that’s normal, right?”
Without divulging too much, Winkleman hints at the impressive calibre of the new contestants. “They are all excellent,” she says, noting their quick adaptation and strategic play, having watched the first series.
“It definitely gave them some tips and you can see some arrive and play the game immediately. But the game itself is so strong that however prepared you think you are, you’re not.”
As for the missions and games this year – they’re expected to be even more exciting than last year’s challenges.
“The missions this year are epic. The producers are so clever as the missions are incredibly important as it is a chance for the contestants to switch off from strategising and plotting.
“They get fresh air, they run around, they work as a team. The scale this year is beyond.”
Reflecting on her unique position as the host, Winkleman shares her impartiality, rooting for both the Faithfuls and the Traitors. “I so want them to catch a Traitor and I also want the Traitors to get away with it,” she states,
“It definitely gets extremely tense. It did in the first series, too, but there’s one round table in this episode when I came out shaking.
The Global Phenomenon of The Traitors: International Editions
De Verraders, the Dutch original of The Traitors, premiered in 2021. Hosted by Tijl Beckand, the show’s format mirrored the party game Mafia, with a group of players, some of whom are secretly ‘traitors’.
The first two seasons were filmed at Castle Erenstein in Kerkrade, Netherlands, while the third season moved to France.
Like its UK counterpart, the series features challenges where contestants can earn silver bars and protective shields against elimination. The endgame varies each season, ranging from a final decision of betrayal or loyalty to the traitors winning if any remain uncaught
The American adaptation, simply titled The Traitors and hosted by Alan Cumming, announced its second season in September 2023, set to premiere in January 2024 on Peacock (in the US – as Peacock no longer exists in the UK).
In the UK, the American version was available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
This version also follows the basic premise of the original Dutch series, with contestants housed in the same Ardross Castle in the Scottish Highlands.
Unlike the UK version of the show, where all the contestants were unknown – the first season of the American version included semi-famous reality parts, alongside new faces.
Notably, the upcoming second season’s cast consists entirely of reality show participants and public figures.
And then there’s the Australian version of The Traitors, which aired on Network 10, but as of October 2023, it was announced that the series would not return in 2024, though a future return has not been ruled out.
The Australian version, like its international counterparts, revolved around the central theme of deceit and strategy among the ‘traitors’ and ‘faithfuls’
The Aussie version was also available on BBC iPlayer in the UK.
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(Featured image: BBC/Studio Lambert/Mark Mainz)