The Beijing Winter Paralympics start today and excitingly, Channel 4 has created a world first in covering a top-level sporting event with an entire team of disabled presenters.
They will be hosting over 80 hours of Paralympic Games coverage 24 hours on free, non-subscription TV while also streaming it on its YouTube channel. The Games start on 4th March and run until the 13th.
Presenter and wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan will be fronting the shows with quadriplegic former rugby player Ed Jackson and Paralympic triathlete Lauren Steadman. They’ll be supported by Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, double amputee racing driver Billy Monger, and Paralympic sit skier Sean Rose. Overnight coverage will be presented by Paralympic cyclist and former Royal Marine, Arthur Williams.
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.”
The TV company has made itself a leader in accessibility within the TV industry and underpins its inclusivity strategy with its ‘engage & enable‘ disability strategy which aims to boost disability inclusion both on and off-screen. As part of this strategy they plan to:
- launch the UK television industry’s first disabled talent and contributor welfare policy
- create a dedicated mentoring scheme in partnership with the TripleC Disabled Artists Networking Community (DANC)
- sponsor networking events for independent producers to meet with disabled production talent, in partnership with groups such as Deaf & Disabled People in TV.
The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will take place from 4-13 March and will be the most accessible Winter Paralympics ever.Watch Live Coverage Watch on YouTube