Paralympics Opening Ceremony is revealed

Tuesday: Paralympics Opening Ceremony; (Channel 4, from 11.30am)

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 5:00 pm

For the longest time, it looked as though the Covid-19 pandemic would completely put the kybosh on the 2020 Olympic Games.

After being delayed by a year, rising case numbers and orders for spectators to stay away left athletes and sports fans wondering whether the event would go ahead, while arguments swirled in the media about the wisdom of holding such an event in the middle of a pandemic.

But go ahead it did, and despite everything, the Games were hailed a complete success. Now it’s the turn of the world’s Paralympians to take their place in the spotlight as the curtain goes up on the belated 2020 Paralympic Games.

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Sophie Morgan, JJ Chalmers, Emma Wiggs, Kadeena Cox, Steph McGovern, Ade Adepitan, Clare Balding, Adam Hills, Ali Jawad, Vick Hope, Arthur Williams, Johnnie Peacock, Ed Jackson and Robyn Love

Sports fans can sit back and enjoy an almost five-hour opening ceremony, during which we’ll be introduced to the nations taking part and can practice vocalising our support for Team GB.

It’s part of an ambitious programme of coverage that demonstrates Channel 4’s commitment not just to the Paralympics, but also to the concepts of diversity and inclusion.

First of all, the broadcaster is lining up a mouthwatering 300 hours of coverage featuring a star-studded line-up of presenters.

Sophie Morgan, JJ Chalmers and Ed Jackson will be joined by Lee McKenzie and Vick Hope reporting from Japan, while Clare Balding will present live sport finals, and Arthur Williams and Steph McGovern will serve up a daily Paralympics Breakfast Show, all from Channel 4’s national HQ in Leeds.

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Steve Brown, Liam Malone, Danny Crates and Liz Johnson will be offering their thoughts and opinions as pundits, while bringing their own unique take on the Games will be Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe. They’ll be presenting The Last Leg from London, with Rosie Jones reporting from Tokyo.

In case you miss all of that, Ade Adepitan is on hand with a daily round-up of highlights from Tokyo.

So far, so good – but there’s more. Over 70 per cent of Channel 4’s presenting team are disabled, and in a first for the broadcaster, More 4 will become a dedicated team sports channel, airing live matches featuring ParalympicsGB teams in wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.

If you’re not quivering with excitement, then get a load of this nugget: there will be an impressive 16 live streams on Channel 4’s Paralympics Microsite, showing more than 1,000 hours of action – meaning more live sport than ever before will be available to audiences when they want it.

“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,” said chief content officer Ian Katz.

“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. 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.”

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