LONDON 2012: Paralympics Opening Ceremony – Exclusively live on Channel 4

Barely three weeks on from the conclusion of a spectacular Olympic Games, London is ready to welcome the world once again for what promises to be another electrifying sporting celebration as the 2012 Paralympic Games begin.

Stratford’s Olympic Stadium will be the focus of the sporting world as the 14th Paralympic Games is officially opened during a powerful and thought-provoking Opening Ceremony, marking the start of 11 days of elite sporting competition in what is being billed as the biggest and best Paralympic Games ever.

Channel 4 will have exclusive coverage of this historic occasion, presented by veteran news anchor Jon Snow and commentary on the evening’s events provided by Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

The 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony will include more than 3,000 adult volunteers, a children volunteer cast of over 100, and 100-plus professionals.

The ceremony, called ‘Enlightenment’, promises a spectacular celebration of the inspirational spirit of the Paralympic Games that challenges perceptions of human possibility and showcases the achievements of British disabled artists and performers.

It also celebrates the inclusivity of the Paralympic movement, and opens with a fly past by Aerobility, a British charity that trains disabled people to become pilots, and includes 50 specialist performers that have taken part in an eight-week circus skills training programme.

The pilots have overcome their own personal barriers to fly aircraft and they will perform a series of incredible acrobatic acts on a 35 metre-high rig above the stadium floor.

In a groundbreaking, inclusive staging, the Ceremony will showcase the excellence of deaf and disabled artists and will open with a fly past by Aerobility, a British charity that trains disabled people to become pilots.

Co-artistic directors Jenny Sealey and Bradley Hemmings promise a spectacular celebration of the inspirational spirit of the Paralympic Games that challenges perceptions of human possibility.

Sealey is artistic director of Graeae, the UK’s flagship disabled-led theatre company.

Fifty specialist performers are also taking part in an eight-week circus skills training programme at Circus Space in Hackney ahead of the Opening Ceremony. 

Thanks for the warm-up – Paralympic Games on 4

Following on from Danny Boyle’s highly-acclaimed Olympic opening ceremony, the Paralympic version will provide another opportunity for the world to view the artistic expression of both the artistic directors and their teams, and the culture of London and the UK.

After the Union flag has been raised and the national anthem has been performed by Joss Stone, the spectacular Parade of Athletes will begin. featuring over 4,000 athletes from 162 nations.

Teams will enter the arena in alphabetical order, apart from the team of the host nation, Great Britain, who march in last.

Wheelchair tennis star Peter Norfolk has the honour of leading out almost 300 GB athletes as he will carry the flag into the stadium for ParalympicsGB.

Once all the nations have arrived into the Stadium, LOCOG chair Sebastian Coe and Sir Philip Craven, president of the IPC, will address the audience.

The Games will then be declared officially open by Her Majesty the Queen.

Once the Games have been opened, the Paralympic Flag is carried into the Stadium and hoisted into the air as the Anthem is played.

After the Paralympic oaths are taken on behalf of the athletes and officials, the big finale is the entrance of the Paralympic Flame into the Stadium.

It is passed to the final torchbearer, who will ceremoniously light the Cauldron, indicating the start of the 14th Paralympic Games.

The opening ceremony marks the start of more than 500 hours of Channel 4’s ground-breaking TV and online coverage.

Channel 4 has commissioned an intense and powerful short film, narrated by actor Sean Bean, to headline its opening night coverage.

Award-winning British filmmaker Daryl Goodrich is director of Channel 4’s ‘The Journey’. It begins seven years ago, following the story of 7/7 survivor and GB hopeful, Martine Wright, alongside a nation whose celebrations at winning the Games were marred by the shocking terrorist attacks in London the following day, then riots and recession.

The film’s concept is the brainchild of IMG Executive Producer Mike Wilmot, and was commissioned by Channel 4’s Deborah Poulton, Sports Editor, Paralympics as part of the broadcaster’s unique and dedicated programming.

Don’t miss this historic occasion as the London 2012 Paralympic Games are officially declared opened. Full details below:


Presenters: Alex Thompson & Krishnan Guru-Murthy

A Channel 4 News special will look ahead to the opening ceremony, as well a bring viewers a flavour of what is to come over the next 11 days of sporting competition.

Presenter: Jon Snow   
Commentator: Krishnan Guru-Murthy
Official Start: 8.30pm

Jon Snow and the Channel 4 team present live coverage of the Paralympic Games opening ceremony from the Olympic Stadium in Stratfor, east London.

Coverage is also available in high-definition on Channel 4 HD and online via


Aside from Channel 4’s live coverage of the event there are other ways to watch/listen the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Full details below:

                               with AUDIO DESCRIPTION COMMENTARY

Channel 4’s coverage of the London 2012 Paralympic Games opening ceremony will also be simulcast on More4 with Audio Description.

This service allows viewers to hear a verbal description of what is happening on screen. It has been developed as an aid to understanding and enjoyment particularly, but not exclusively, for viewers with sight problems.

More4’s AD commentary has been specifically devised and scripted by two describers, who have a strong pedigree in theatre AD.

This feature is also available online via

Presenters: John Inverdale, Gordon Farquhar

BBC 5 live will have exclusive live and uninterrupted radio commentary of the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.

John Inverdale, Gordon Farquhar and guests host live coverage of the Paralympics opening ceremony, plus a preview of the sporting action and medal hopes.


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