Channel 4 has announced the team to cover its biggest event to date.
Featuring a line-up of presenters and reporters comprising top sports broadcasters, former Paralympians and new disabled talent, the channel will clear its schedules across the network for eleven days to commit more than 150 hours of coverage to the London 2012 Paralympic Games in August.
Pitch is Channel 4′s retained PR agency for the Paralympic Games and is working with the broadcaster to leverage the biggest broadcasting event in its 30 year history. It is the most extensive UK coverage that has ever been dedicated to the Paralympic Games.
Channel 4′s chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: “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.”
Strength in depth
In line with the channel’s vision on winning the broadcast rights to the Games, 50 percent of the presenters and reporters in the line-up will be disabled. Peak time live coverage of the Games on Channel 4 will be fronted by renowned sports broadcaster Clare Balding and TV presenter and former Paralympic wheelchair basketball medalist Ade Adepitan.
Disabled Australian comedian Adam Hills, who hosted ABC’s live coverage of the 2008 Paralympic Games Ceremonies in Beijing, will bring a combination of experience and quick wit to the team. Channel 4 and E4 presenter Rick Edwards will also take up a key role in the presenter line-up after fronting ‘That Paralympic Show’, while ex-Olympic triple-jump champion Jonathan Edwards will bring his experience as a seasoned live multi-sports broadcaster.
Seven new faces in the line-up will come from Channel 4’s talent search for disabled talent in 2010 including Irish presenter Daráine Mulvihill and former Royal Marine Arthur Williams, who will each anchor in-studio.
They will be joined by new reporters on-location – 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. All seven were chosen from hundreds of hopefuls in the talent search and put through rigorous training.
Jon Snow at the helm
Long-standing Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow will anchor the channel’s coverage of the Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Kelly Cates and Georgie Bingham also join as presenters and between them have an impressive resume of sports broadcasting experience including Sky Sports, ESPN, Setanta, Sky Sports News and the Premier League.
Ade Adepitan said: “The Brazilian TV companies have already come out specifically to see what we’re doing at Channel 4 ahead of Rio 2016. We’re setting the benchmark, saying: ‘This is how it should be done.”
For more information on Channel 4 and the Paralympic Games, visit channel4.com/Paralympics