Channel 4 presenters for Winter Paralympics will all be disabled

‘Global first!’ Channel 4 presenting team for the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing will all be disabled people with Strictly’s Lauren Steadman and Ade Adepitan leading the line-up

  • Paralympic champion triathlete Lauren Steadman, 29, will host the breakfast show with quadriplegic former professional rugby player Ed Jackson, 33
  • Wheelchair basketballer Ade Adepitan, 48, will front a daily highlights show  
  • Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, 20, and double amputee racing driver Billy Monger, 22, will both be on-screen reporters
  • Winter Paralympic sitskier Sean Rose, 42, will be a pundit
  • Channel 4’s overnight sports coverage will be lead by Arthur Williams, 35, who is a former paralympic cyclist and Royal Marine.

The presenting team for Channel 4’s coverage of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be made up entirely of disabled presenters and pundits in what the broadcaster says is a ‘global first’ for a ‘world class sporting event’.

Paralympic champion triathlete Lauren Steadman, 29, will be joined by quadriplegic former professional rugby player Ed Jackson, 33, to host the breakfast show, while wheelchair basketballer Ade Adepitan, 48, will front a daily highlights show.  

Channel 4 has exclusive broadcast rights within the UK for the event. It will host more than 80 hours of Paralympics coverage around the clock from China on free-to-air television, with content also streaming on its YouTube channel.

Global first! Channel 4’s presenting team for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be made up entirely of disabled stars (L-R: Arthur Williams, 35, Ed Jackson, 33, Ade Adepitan, 48, Lauren Steadman, 29, Ellie Robinson, 20, Billy Monger, 22, Sean Rose, 42)

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Lauren Steadman won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and also took home a silver at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio.

Having survived polio as a youngster, Nigerian-born Ade Adepitan has gone on to compete as a wheelchair basketball player on an international level and has a wealth of TV presenting experience. 

Back in 2017, Ed Jackson suffered a horrific accident in a swimming pool that ended his rugby career and left him paralysed, with doctors warning that he’d never walk again. Thankfully he relearned how to walk and has gone on to climb mountains.

The presenting and punditry line-up also includes Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, 20, who aged 15 won gold and bronze at the Rio Games, and announced last year that she was retiring from competitive swimming.

Strictly Come Dancing star! Paralympic champion triathlete Lauren Steadman, 29, will co-host the breakfast show

He’s back! Wheelchair basketballer Ade Adepitan, 48, will front a daily highlights show

Ellie will be joined by double amputee racing driver Billy Monger, 22, who will both be on-screen reporters, while Winter Paralympic sitskier Sean Rose, 42, will be a pundit. 

The broadcaster’s overnight sports coverage will be lead by Tokyo 2020 presenter Arthur Williams, 35, who is a former paralympic cyclist and Royal Marine.

Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4, 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 and for people with disabilities and making our output truly representative of the entire population.

Rugby star: Quadriplegic former professional rugby player Ed Jackson, 33, will be Lauren’s co-host on the breakfast show

Paralympic swimmer: The presenting and punditry line-up also includes Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, 20, who aged 15 won gold and bronze at the Rio Games

‘We are looking forward to once again bringing a global audience to the Paralympic Games and are proud of what we have achieved since London 2012, shifting perceptions of disabled people and bringing world-class sporting drama to our viewers through our significant investment in coverage and award-winning marketing campaigns.

‘We will bring the best coverage possible to the British public, live from China, so we can all get behind ParalympicsGB and celebrate their success in Beijing.’

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: ‘This all-star disabled presenting team is world-leading and it is a momentous milestone for the UK, displaying pleasing progress on disability representation in broadcasting.

‘Coverage of Paralympic Games is always an inspiring reminder that we should be judged by what we can do, rather than what we cannot. The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games presented by this impressive line-up brings that home more than ever, helping us change perceptions of disabled people across the UK.

‘I know ParalympicsGB will do us proud and I look forward to watching their endeavours along with millions of people in homes around the country.’

Racing driver: Double amputee racing driver Billy Monger, 22, will be an on-screen reporter

Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), added: ‘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.’

Paralympic sitskier: Winter Paralympic sitskier Sean Rose, 42, will be a pundit

Channel 4’s announcement was welcomed as ‘a fantastic move’ by disability equality charity Scope.

Executive director James Taylor said: ‘This is a fantastic move by Channel 4, which shows their commitment to using the Paralympics to improve the representation of disabled people on screen, and shift attitudes towards disability.

‘Seeing disabled people on screen helps improve understanding of disability, and break down barriers.

‘However there’s still a long way to go until disabled people are equally represented on screen, so we hope other broadcasters will take Channel 4’s lead.’

The broadcaster will also carry live subtitles with highlights shows on repeat on More4 featuring audio descriptions.

The Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games take place from March 4-13.

Paralympic cyclist: The broadcaster’s overnight sports coverage will be lead by Tokyo 2020 presenter Arthur Williams, 35, who is a former paralympic cyclist and Royal Marine 

BEIJING WINTER PARALYMPICS 2022: WHO ARE THE CHANNEL 4 PRESENTERS?

LAUREN STEADMAN 

Age: 29

Profession: Paralympic champion triathlete 

Background: Former Strictly Come Dancing star Lauren Steadman won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and also took home a silver at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio. 

 Age: 33

Profession: Former professional rugby player

Background: Back in 2017, Ed Jackson suffered a horrific accident in a swimming pool that ended his rugby career and left him paralysed. He relearned how to walk and has gone on to climb mountains.

 BILLY MONGER  

Age: 22

Profession: Racing driver 

Background: Double amputee Billy raced in British F4 in 2016 and 2017. He is also referred to by the nickname ‘Billy Whizz.’

ARTHUR ROSE

Age: 35

Profession: Former paralympic cyclist and Royal Marine

Background: Arthur uses a wheelchair as a result of a severe car accident in 2007. He began presenting in 2012 and went on to present at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

ADE ADEPITAN

Age: 48

Profession: TV presenter

Background: Having survived polio as a youngster, Nigerian-born Ade Adepitan has gone on to compete as a wheelchair basketball player on an international level and has a wealth of TV presenting experience. 

ELLIE ROBINSON

Age: 20

Profession: Paralympic swimmer

Background: Aged 15, Ellie won gold and bronze at the Rio Games, and announced last year that she was retiring from competitive swimming.  

SEAN ROSE 

Age: 42  

Profession: Paralympic sitskier

Background: A fall while instructing RAF pilots to ski in Bavaria in February 2000 caused Spinal Cord damage and paralysis. Sean went on to become a double winter olympian.  

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