Ade Adepitan

presenter, Paralympian

Having survived polio as a youngster, Ade has gone on to compete as a wheelchair basketball player on an international level and has a wealth of TV presenting experience. 2014 saw Ade join BBC World’s The Travel Show; which sees him traversing the world. He fronted the live ten day coverage of The Winter Paralympic Games on Channel Four. Documentary work includes This World for BBC2 exploring the clothing industry in Ghana, a Dispatches on stop and search, an investigation into the growth of West African churches in the UK, and Unreported World for Channel 4 where he investigated the persecution of transgender individuals living in Jamaica and a school run in gang torn Honduras.

Ade Adepitan: Journey of My Lifetime found Ade returning to his country of birth, Nigeria, to look into why it remains one of the only countries in the world where Polio is still endemic.

Ade spearheaded all things Olympic/Paralympic for London 2012. He fronted the BAFTA winning daily live prime time coverage of Channel 4’s Paralympic programming alongside Clare Balding. He also played an integral role behind the scenes in the channel’s planning for the Games. Prior to this Ade fronted The One Show’s coverage in the lead up to the Games, through a series of films and studio appearances for the flagship BBC1 show. He remains a regular face of  The One Show, and recently made a series of films for them about UK cycle paths.

Sporting presenting credits include reporting for The Clare Balding Show on BT, fronting four series of That Paralympic Show, British Basketball – Game On, Eindhoven Swimming Championships for Channel 4; interviewing big name stars at the O2 for NBA Europe Live, as well as at The All-Star Game in New Orleans. He travelled to the Beijing Paralympics for the BBC in 2008 to commentate on the wheelchair basketball and covered the basketball final for the Paralympic World Cup (BBC2) for four consecutive years. He has previously covered the European Championships for BBC2’s Grandstand and reported for BBC1’s weekly Sportsround series. Ade hosted his own documentary for Radio Five Live, A Pair of Trainers, which saw him follow the personal progress of two unlikely fitness candidates.

Ade’s talents don’t just lie in sport presenting; in 2010 he acted as a judge on BBC3’s Dancing on Wheels, alongside Strictly Come Dancing’s James and Ola Jordan. Six couples consisting of an able bodied celebrity and a wheelchair contestant competed in Latin and ballroom disciplines to win the chance of competing at the Wheelchair European Ballroom Championships.

2005 saw Ade participate in Beyond Boundaries, a four part documentary series for BBC2, which took him on the trek of a lifetime across the rainforests, deserts, rivers and mountains of Nicaragua. 2006 saw him reporting for ITV1’s The Boat Show from the Atlantic Ocean. Ade regularly reported for BBC1’s Holiday series having travelled to France, scuba dived in Mexico, gone on safari in Kenya and the Gambia, skied in Canada and America as well as filming in Bonaire and Curacao in the Caribbean. He took on a new challenge in 2006 with his first principle acting role for BBC1’s popular kids’ drama, Desperados. He has also appeared in Brit feature film Freight, ITV1’s Hardware and BBC1’s Casualty.

An instantly recognisable face, Ade appeared in the high profile idents for BBC1 and presented BBC’s daily X-Change programme for five years. Other credits include Tiger Tiger for Channel Five, where Ade reported on endangered species from around the globe. Highlights included riding elephants while looking for tigers in India and swimming with sharks in Australia, while personal triumphs included overcoming his fear of water and night walks in the depths of the African jungle. He also presented Dream Ticket for LWT in which he explored Jamaica and went diving in the Seychelles.

Ade has done a number of high profile public speaking engagements including the launch of the 2012 Olympic bid at the Royal Opera House alongside Tony Blair. He works extensively in the UK giving motivational speeches to schools, charities and businesses including The Royal Mail, BUPA, NSPCC, BAA, Lloyds TSB and BT. In January 2005, Ade performed a poem with Stephen Fry detailing the plight of children with disabilities at The Holocaust Memorial in Westminster Abbey in front of the Queen and other luminaries.

Ade has proved he is capable of a lot more than your ordinary presenter. He has represented Great Britain at the Olympics in Athens 2004 (Bronze) and Sydney 2000 plus competing in The European (Silver) and World Championships (Gold).

Ade’s energy and enthusiasm comes through in everything he does, making him an ideal ambassador for the NSPCC as well as a patron for Go Kids Go. Ade was an Ambassador for London’s 2012 Olympic bid and now sat on the advisory board of LOCOG. He was also a consultant for Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage.

In 2006, Ade was given an honorary Doctorate by Loughborough University and had the honour of being awarded an MBE for his contribution to disabled sport in the Queen’s 2005 Birthday Honours. More recently in 2010, Ade was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award from the University of East London.

In 2007 Ade took on the challenge of the London Marathon, which he completed in just over two and a half hours. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Ade’s new sporting passion is wheelchair tennis. He can often be seen at Roehampton early in the mornings practising his killer serve!