Channel 4 has announced the disabled presenters and reporters who will be the faces of its coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics.
The line-up includes former Paralympians and established broadcasters, as well as new disabled talent selected through a nationwide search.
Channel 4, the official UK broadcaster for this year’s Paralympics, has promised that half of its presenters and reporters will be disabled people. It has pledged more than 150 hours of coverage on Channel 4 and More 4, for what will be the biggest broadcasting event in its 30-year history.
The broadcaster announced its line-up as London 2012 organisers marked the latest milestone in the count-down to the Paralympics: six months before the opening ceremony on 29 August.
Peak-time live TV coverage of the games will be fronted by Ade Adepitan, the former Paralympian and experienced presenter, alongside the non-disabled sports presenter Clare Balding.
The disabled Australian comedian Adam Hills – who co-hosted live coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Australian broadcaster ABC during the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 – will host the evening peak-time highlights show.
Other former Paralympians to feature will include athlete Danny Crates and swimmer Giles Long.
But Channel 4’s coverage will also include seven disabled presenters and reporters who were selected through a talent search launched in September 2010.
Irish broadcast journalist Daráine Mulvihill and former Royal Marine and wheelchair athlete Arthur Williams will both work as presenters, while 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 will all feature as reporters.
Non-disabled presenters and reporters will include veteran Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow, who will present coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies, and former Olympic athletes Jonathan Edwards and Iwan Thomas.
Jay Hunt, chief creative officer at Channel 4, said the line-up of presenters and reporters was “a mix of broadcasting heavyweights and new faces”.
He said the coverage would include “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”.
He 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 per cent increase on the coverage the Paralympics has ever received in this country and will make it impossible to ignore.”