Sports broadcaster Clare Balding and TV presenter and former Paralympic basketball medallist Ade Adepitan will host Channel 4’s coverage of the London Paralympic games in August and September.
The schedule will be cleared for a full eleven days to make room for 150 hours’ worth of coverage; this amounting to the biggest broadcasting event in Channel 4’s 30-year history. It will also be the most time ever dedicated to the Paralympics on British television in the history of the games.
Balding and Adepitan will host peak-time coverage and will be joined by disabled Australian comedian Adam Hills who presented ABC’s live coverage of the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.
T4 presenter Rick Edwards (who hosted four series of That Paralympic Show on Channel 4) and Olympic triple-jump legend Jonathan Edwards will provide comment and analysis throughout the games. Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow will front coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies.
As Channel 4 promised when they bid for the broadcast rights, fifty per cent of the presenting team will be disabled.
Irish presenter Daráine Mulvihill and former Royal Marine Arthur Williams will also perform studio anchoring duties and are amongst seven new faces to come out of the broadcaster’s star search for disabled talent in 2010.
They’ll be joined by former Paralympic swimmer Rachael Latham, sports reporter and wheelchair basketball player Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, former carpenter Martin Dougan, researcher Liam Holt and sports journalist Alex Brooker.
A number of renowned athletes will also take part in the “all day everyday” coverage on Channel 4, including runners Iwan Thomas and Danny Crates, and swimmer Giles Long.
Special breakfast and tea-time shows will provide highlights of the coverage that is being produced by Sunset & Vine and IMG Sports Media. In addition, a new dedicated website will provide in-depth analysis and highlights throughout the Paralympics.
Jay Hunt, Chief Creative Officer at Channel 4, said: “Being the broadcaster of the London 2012 Paralympic Games is a huge privilege and an opportunity for us to really make a difference to the perception of disability and disability sport in this country. I’m thrilled to announce this brilliant and carefully selected team of presenters and reporters; a mix of broadcasting heavyweights and new faces including disabled talent. Our coverage will contain in-depth analysis and intelligent, frank and thought-provoking insight from people who are equipped to bring these incredible but little-understood sports to a broad mainstream audience and help us to make this the biggest Paralympic Games ever.”
“We will be on air before the sport of the day begins and until the last flag has been rolled up and put away with all the action, expert comment and analysis and specially commissioned breakfast and tea time shows. This is a 400% increase on the coverage The Paralympics has ever received in this country and will make it impossible to ignore.”
The London 2012 Paralypics will take place between 29 August and 9 September.