Channel 4 has announced its “most ambitious ever” plans for coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, including a multi-location studio format and an all-star presenting team for the forthcoming Games.

Channel 4 will broadcast over 300 hours and have a multi-location presentation model with its Paralympic Breakfast Show and morning sports competition coming live from Leeds, where the broadcaster’s National HQ is based.

The Highlights show will then come to UK audiences from Tokyo, before returning to Leeds for an early evening show celebrating ParalympicsGB medals of the day, followed by The Last Leg, which will be broadcast to audiences daily from London. Live overnight sport then comes from Japan.

In a first for the broadcaster, More 4 will be a dedicated team sports channel live from Tokyo which will see matches featuring ParalympicsGB teams in wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.

Channel 4’s Tokyo Paralympics coverage will be produced by Whisper and sponsored by Toyota. The broadcaster will feature the largest number of disabled presenters ever seen on UK television (over 70 per cent).

The team bringing the Paralympics to UK audiences include Ade Adepitan helming the Highlights show from Tokyo, and established presenters including Sophie Morgan, JJ Chalmers and Ed Jackson will be joined Lee McKenzie and Vick Hope reporting from Japan.

In the UK Clare Balding will present live sport finals from Leeds, which take place UK morning time, whilst Arthur Williams and Steph McGovern will head up a daily Paralympics Breakfast Show from the same location.

The Last Leg, produced by Open Mike, will also be placed at the heart of Channel 4’s prime time schedule throughout the entirety of the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe will present their show daily from London and will be joined by Rosie Jones reporting from Tokyo.

Experienced pundits bringing sports action include Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Steve Brown, Liam Malone, Danny Crates and Liz Johnson.

Channel 4 has multi-platform broadcast rights within the UK and for the first time will have a commitment of 16 live streams on its Paralympics Microsite, showing over 1,000 hours.

Channel 4’s Director of Programmes Ian Katz said, “Channel 4 has long played a fundamental role in bringing a global audience to the Paralympic Games and for shifting perceptions of disabled people through our significant investment in coverage and award-winning marketing campaigns for London 2012 and Rio 2016.

“Now we’re finally able to get excited about bringing the long-awaited Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to UK viewers with even more coverage than ever before across multiple platforms, from multiple locations and hosted by a stellar presenting team.

“We’re looking forward to bringing the best coverage possible to the British public so we can all get behind ParalympicsGB and celebrate their success in Tokyo.”

Channel 4 and More 4 will carry live subtitles and the Opening Ceremony will have live signing and live enhanced open AD/commentary simulcast on 4Seven. The majority of content on the Paralympics Microsite will also have subtitles.

Build-up programming and content includes Jonnie’s Blade Camp, with Jonnie Peacock helping five young amputees realise their sporting potential. Billy Monger: Changing Gear sees the racing driver meet and train with some of Great Britain’s Paralympic Stars. Sophie’s Great Escape (w/t) sees Sophie Morgan set out on a road-trip to road-test different ways of living life. Come Dine With Me: Paralympic Special has five Paralympians and presenters, past and present, take it in turns to throw a dinner party. Michael Johnson Meets (w/t) sees Olympic legend Michael Johnson chat to four of ParalympicsGB’s top athletes. There’s also Seenit Athlete Video Diaries – User Generated Content direct from ParalympicsGB athletes, on Channel 4 Paralympics social media channels.


Image: Channel 4 / Nick Eagle. L-R Sophie Morgan, JJ Chalmers, Ed Jackson, Ade Adepitan, Clare Balding, Adam Hills, Steph McGovern, Vick Hope And Arthur Williams

Jon Creamer

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