Channel 4 announces first disabled presenting team for Winter Paralympics
Channel 4 has announced a presenting team completely made up of disabled people for its coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The broadcaster has claimed a world first in the move.
The team includes Broadcast Sports Award-winning presenter Ade Adepitan, who will helm the daily highlights show, alongside former rugby player Ed Jackson and Paralympic champion triathlete Lauren Steadman, who will present the Breakfast Show.
The team features Arthur Williams, Ed Jackson, Ade Adepitan, Lauren Steadman, Ellie Robinson, Billy Monger and Sean Rose
Alongside them will be recently retired Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, joined by British racing car driver Billy Monger as an on-screen reporter, and former sit-skier Sean Rose as a pundit. Tokyo 2020 presenter Arthur Williams will lead overnight sports coverage.
The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.
Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.Sign up
Channel 4’s director of programs Ian Katz said of the move: “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.”
Channel 4 has previously demonstrated a commitment to progressing the careers of disabled people working in TV through its Engage & Enable strategy, which includes a 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.
It also aims to ensure coverage of the Paralympics is as accessible to viewers as possible by carrying live subtitles and featuring audio description on any repeat highlights shows. The majority of content on Channel 4’s YouTube channel will also have subtitles.