PyeongChang 2018: Channel 4 to broadcast 100 hours of Winter Games

More than 60 per cent of broadcaster’s presenting talent have an impairment 03 Mar 2018
five TV presenters standing in front of a winter backdrop

Channel 4's presenting line-up for PyeongChang 2018 includes several Paralympians

ⒸChannel 4
By Channel 4

British broadcaster Channel 4 will broadcast 100 hours of coverage from the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in South Korea.

Clare Balding will lead the presentation team from Channel 4’s UK-based purpose-built broadcast centre at The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead.

Clare Balding and Lee McKenzie will be joined throughout the Games by double Paralympic gold-winning superstar Jonnie Peacock who will be on hand to give his assessment on events in Korea . Ade Adepitan, Sophie Morgan and Arthur Williams will present all the action direct from PyeongChang.

Channel 4’s presentation team at The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead will be using the centre’s ski slope to demonstrate the classifications and the skill and athleticism required by Britain’s Paralympians to compete at the highest level.

Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdecombe return with three editions of The Last Leg during the Games. The first launches on the day of the Opening Ceremony, 9 March. And they will be providing their unique insights into the Games in The Last Leg Winter Paralympics Special on Sunday, 11 March, as well as broadcasting a show on Friday, 16 March, to round off their take on the Games.

Ed Havard, Channel 4’s Head of Entertainment, Events and Live, said: “Channel 4’s coverage of the Rio Paralympics in 2016 broke new ground and we’re delighted to be bringing that award-winning team back together for the 2018 Winter Paralympics.

“With Clare Balding leading the sports coverage alongside Jonnie Peacock, Ade Adepitan, Sophie Morgan, Arthur Williams and Lee Mckenzie – it promises to be an epic showcase of our Paralympic champions in South Korea. And with The Last Leg back at the heart of the Games, we’ll be celebrating the Paralympians extraordinary achievements as only Adam, Josh and Alex can.”

In all there will be about 100 hours of Paralympics Winter Games programming across Channel 4 and 4Seven including live coverage of the Opening Ceremony, highlights programmes, live through the night coverage of the action, three episodes of The Last Leg, audio described versions of highlights and coverage from the Closing Ceremony.

Clare, Jonnie and Lee will present Channel 4’s prime time evening highlights show, Winter Paralympics Today from its UK-based production base at The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead

Clare and the team will also guide viewers through the late night show, Winter Paralympics Highlights, at 23:00 on weekdays which leads straight into Channel 4’s through the night live coverage of the Games – Winter Paralympics Live.

Paralympic ski guide gold medallist Charlotte Evans and Jade Etherington, winner of Sochi Paralympic silver and bronze medals in visually impaired skiing events, will be offering viewers unique insights into the challenges faced by the competitors in South Korea.

Evans, who guided Kelly Gallagher to super-G gold in Sochi, and Etherington, winner of three silvers and a bronze four years ago, will offer viewers unique insight into the challenges faced by vision impaired skiers in South Korea.

Channel 4 will also be joined by Team GB Winter Olympians and a range of Paralympic superstars such as Richard Whitehead and Kadeena Cox throughout the event.

Every morning Ade Adepitan, Sophie Morgan and Arthur Williams will bring all the best of the overnight action in the hour-long Winter Paralympics Breakfast direct from PyeongChang.

Skiing commentary will come from Rob Walker and former Winter Paralympian Sean Rose in PyeongChang, whilst Ed Leigh will commentate on the Snowboarding events and John Rawling & Michael McCreadie will lead viewers through the Wheelchair Curling. Rob Walker and Sean Rose will also provide commentary for the Winter Paralympics Opening Ceremony which begins live on Channel 4 at 10.55 on Friday, 9 March.

Continuing its drive to see more disabled on-screen talent, more than 60 per cent of Channel 4’s presentation team will have an impairment.

Whisper Films is producing coverage of the Games Channel 4. Whisper’s Andy Stevenson is overseeing editorial content from PyeongChang, the most senior position held by a disabled person working on a Channel 4 Paralympics production team. Joining Andy will be Alastair Meachan and Ella Beaumont who both came through Channel 4’s Rio Production Training Scheme in 2016.

The Channel 4 team has been filming with British Paralympians as they prepare for the Winter Games including 19-year-old World Champion alpine skier Millie Knight and her guide Brett Wild, and Menna Fitzpatrick and guide Jennifer Kehoe as they prepared for the Winter Games. Specially recorded packages will also give viewers an insight into what a visually impaired skier experiences when racing at speeds of more than 100kph.

Former Ski Sunday Series Producer Chris Grubb and Creative Director Richard Gort will also be a key part of the production team in South Korea which has strong winter sport credentials.

All output will be subtitled and audio described versions of The Last Leg and the late-night Winter Paralympics Highlights programme, will be available on 4Seven. The Winter Paralympics Breakfast and Winter Paralympics Today programmes will be available on All 4.