Channel 4 has announced an entire all-star disabled presenting team for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, a global first for a broadcaster at a world-class sporting event.
The UK Paralympic broadcaster will bring over 80 hours and present the Games live from the Chinese capital city on Channel 4, plus streaming on C4’s YouTube platform.
Broadcast Sports award-winning presenter Ade Adepitan will helm the daily highlights show, with former rugby player Ed Jackson and Paralympic champion triathlete Lauren Steadman bringing the Breakfast Show to viewers.
Recently retired Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson will be joined by British racing car driver Billy Monger as on-screen reporters and former sit-kier Sean Rose as pundit. Tokyo 2020 presenter Arthur Williams will lead overnight sports coverage.
Channel 4 has exclusive broadcast rights within the UK and its Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics coverage will be produced by Whisper and sponsored by Toyota.
Andrew Parsons, International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President, said: “When I heard that all of Channel 4’s presenting team at the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be persons with disabilities I was stunned, but not surprised because they are a world-leading organisation in disability inclusion. The IPC has been working on the Paralympic Games with Channel 4 since 2012 and at every Games they have improved the broadcast landscape on Para sports.
“They are exactly what public sector broadcasting is all about, having the bravery to say: ‘we will be the first to do that’. And this latest landmark decision is important because representation matters. There are over 15 per cent of persons in Great Britain with a disability and they should be able to switch on a TV and see wonderfully ordinary persons with disabilities like them in front of the camera. This is change starting with sport.”
Channel 4’s Director of Programmes Ian Katz said, “Channel 4 is incredibly proud to announce a stellar presenting team and - in a first for any broadcaster around the world - an entire presenting team who are disabled. This is testament to the brilliant disabled presenting talent we have in the UK and underlines our commitment to providing opportunities for people with disabilities and making our output truly representative of the entire population.
“We are looking forward to once again bringing a global audience to the Paralympic Games and are proud of what we have achieved since London 2012, shifting perceptions of disabled people and bringing world-class sporting drama to our viewers through our significant investment in coverage and award-winning marketing campaigns.
“We will bring the best coverage possible to the British public, live from China, so we can all get behind ParalympicsGB and celebrate their success in Beijing.”
Off screen Channel 4 is committed to progressing the careers of disabled people working in TV. Last year, Channel 4 underlined its pioneering work with disabled talent across the TV sector through its ‘Engage & Enable’ disability strategy, including RISEits brand new mentorship scheme for mid to senior disabled production talent in TV.
The Broadcaster also devised shareable best practice guidelines for indies and producers on hiring, including and progressing disabled production talent as well as setting out expectations for the production companies when featuring disabled people on-screen
Channel 4 aspires to maintain its prized position as a world leader in inclusion and accessibility and Beijing 2022 will be the most accessible Winter Paralympics ever.
Channel 4 will carry live subtitles and the highlights shows will repeat on More 4 with Audio Description. The majority of content on the Channel 4’s YouTube channel will also have subtitles.
Since 2012, Channel 4 has showcased more hours of Paralympic sport than any other broadcaster in history and helped create household names of both athletes and presenters.
Last summer, Channel 4 attracted 20 million viewers (a third of the UK population) to its 2020 Tokyo Paralympics coverage.
The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from 4-13 March.
Channel 4 Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games presenting team
• Ade Adepitan: Ade competed as a professional Wheelchair Basketball player before pursuing a well-respected career in television. He has fronted documentaries tackling global issues such as climate change, presented the Paralympic Games for Channel 4 and co-hosted Children in Need. Last year, Ade won the Broadcast Sport award for his Tokyo 2020 highlights show ‘Today in Tokyo’.
• Ed Jackson: Former professional rugby player Ed Jackson is an adventurer, charity founder, broadcaster, speaker, author, brand ambassador and mentor. 2021 saw Ed launch his debut podcast, It’s Good to Walk. His broadcasting talents were demonstrated when presenting Channel 4’s European Champions Cup rugby highlights and commentary for the Six Nations. He was part of Channel 4’s presenting team for the Tokyo 202 Paralympic Games.
• Billy Monger: Billy Monger is a British racing driver who raced in British F4 in 2016 and 2017. He is now a commentator/pundit and TV personality.
• Ellie Robinson: Ellie is a Paralympic swimming champion who won the heart of the nation with her emotive post-event interview at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. In 2016, after the Rio Paralympics, she was named the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.
• Lauren Steadman: Lauren is a Paralympic athlete who has competed in four Games, in both Para Swimming and Para Triathlon. Lauren competed at both the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London as a swimmer, before switching to the Para Triathlon for the 2016 Games in Rio where she won a silver medal, followed by gold at Tokyo 2020. Lauren also competed on Strictly Come Dancing in 2020.
• Arthur Williams: Originally identified by Channel 4, Arthur received rave reviews for his presentation of Channel 4‘s London 2012 Paralympic Games as well as being named by Bafta as a ‘Break Through Brit’ and nominated for a Grierson award for ‘best documentary presenter’ for Channel 4’s The Plane That Saved Britain. Arthur has also presented and authored a number of leading documentaries on his expertise of military history, travel and aviation.
• Sean Rose: A former serving member of the Royal Air Force, Sean has since competed for GB in Paralympic sit-skiing and is a three-time world champion water skier.