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Channel 4 announces all-star disabled presenting team for Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games 

Channel 4 has announced an all-star disabled presenting team for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, which will include Ade Adepitan, Lauren Steadman and Ellie Robinson.

It is a global first for a broadcaster to have an entire disabled presenting and punditry team for a world class sporting event.

The UK Paralympic broadcaster will bring over 80 hours and present the Games live from Beijing 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-skier Sean Rose as pundit. Tokyo 2020 presenter Arthur Williams will lead overnight sports coverage.

Read on to find out more about Channel 4’s disabled presenting team and how Beijing 2022 will be the most accessible Winter Paralympic coverage ever.

Channel 4’s Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games presenting team

Ade Adepitan

Ade Adepitan, who contracted polio as a baby, is a former wheelchair basketball Paralympian, TV presenter and travel journalist with a career spanning over 20 years.

He won four medals in the Paralympics and went onto present big sporting events, such as the Paralympic Games, The Invictus Games, and The IPC Athletics. 

Ade is also a well-known face of the BBC, having presented The Travel Show and documentaries such as World’s Busiest Cities and Climate Change: Ade on the Frontline. Ade has also co-hosted the BBC fundraising show Children in Need.

Last year Ade won the Broadcast Sport award for his Tokyo 2020 highlights show Today in Tokyo.

You can find out more about Ade Adepitan by reading our exclusive interview with him.

Lauren Steadman

Lauren Steadman is a Paralympic athlete who has competed in four Games, in both 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.

She was born without her right forearm and occasionally uses a prosthetic.

Lauren also competed on Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, where she made it to the semi-final with her dance partner, AJ Pritchard.

She also took part in Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins and became joint winner alongside music artist DJ Locksmith from the electric pop duo Rudimental.

Check out our interview with Lauren Steadman that we did ahead of Tokyo 2020.

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.

She has Perthes hip disease, which effects the top of the thigh bone/hip joint, causing bone softening, sometimes muscle weakness and pain.

In 2016, Ellie competed at the Rio 2016  Paralympic Games, where she won gold in the S6 50m butterfly.

After the Rio Paralympics, she was named the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year.

Follow Ellie Robinson on Twitter and Instagram to find out more about her.

Ed Jackson

Ed Jackson became disabled following a tragic swimming pool accident, which left him with a dislocated C6/C7 vertebrae and a ruined rugby career.

However, he beat all the odds and went on to be 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 also part of Channel 4’s presenting team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Find out more about Ed Jackson by following him on Twitter and Instagram.

Billy Monger

Billy Monger is a British racing driver. In April 2017, he was competing in a Formula 4 car race at Donnington Park in Leicestershire. During the race – at speeds of 120mph – he crashed into the back of another car injuring both legs, resulting in them both being amputated.

After a year of rehabilitation, Billy returned to racing in 2018 after appealing to motorsport’s international governing body, the FIA, to change its regulations restricting disabled drivers.

In November 2018, he featured in a BBC documentary titled Driven: The Billy Monger Story, which tells the story of his accident, watching him come to terms with his disability and managing to get back on the racetrack.

In 2021, Billy embarked on a fundraising challenge, in which he walked, cycled and kayaked 140-miles in four days to raise money for Comic Relief. He finished the challenge and raised a total of £3 million.

Billy has also done commentary and punditry for Channel 4’s coverage of Formula 1 racing.

Follow Billy Monger on Twitter and Instagram to find out more about his extraordinary journey.

Arthur Williams

Arthur Williams is a former Royal Marine who was involved in a car accident in 2007, which severed his spinal-cord and left him paralysed.

Following his rehabilitation, he went on to learn how to fly planes and joined the organisation Aerobility. He made great progress with the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, gaining a Class One commercial pilot’s medical and was assured he could become a commercial pilot.

In 2010, Arthur discovered that Channel 4 was searching for disabled people to join the presenting team at the London 2012 Paralympic games. He applied for the role and was later accepted in 2012.

Arthur received rave reviews for his presentation of London 2012 as well as being named by BAFTA as a Breakthrough Brit.

Arthur has also presented and written a number of leading documentaries on his expertise of military history, travel and aviation. He was nominated for a Grierson award for Best Documentary Presenter for Channel 4’s The Plane That Saved Britain.

Go to Twitter and Instagram to follow Arthur Williams.

Sean Rose

A former serving member of the RAF as a Physical Training Instructor, Sean was involved in a skiing accident that left him paralysed.

Despite his injuries, he got back to sport and has since competed for GB in Paralympic sit-skiing and is a three-time world champion water skier.

Sean has done commentary, punditry and reporting at other sporting events including the 2014 and 2018 Winter Paralympic Games, the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games and the Invictus Games 2015.

Follow Sean Rose on Twitter and Instagram.

Channel 4 Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games programming

This is the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics presenting team line up and schedule on Channel 4:

  • Paralympics Breakfast – hosted by Ed Jackson and Lauren Steadman
  • Paralympics Today – hosted by Ade Adepitan
  • Overnight sport – Hosted by Arthur Williams
  • Reporting and punditry team – Ellie Robinson, Billy Monger and Sean Rose

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, gave his reaction to the announcement, saying:

“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% 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 success in representing disabled people

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.

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’s accessible coverage of the Beijing 2022  Paralympic Winter Games

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.

The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from 4th to 13th March 2022.

Throughout the Paralympic Winter Games, people from the DH team and community will be sharing all the latest news, results, facts and gossip from Beijing, so please be sure to follow us on Twitter @DHorizons.

By Emma Purcell 

More on Disability Horizons… 

Emma Purcell

Editor & Writer at Disability Horizons. Blogger at Rock For Disability. Loves live music, comedy, acting, chocolate and is a Harry Potter fanatic.
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