Ade Adepitan MBE is a Paralympic champion, popular TV presenter & motivational speaker. After being struck with polio as a child, Ade went on to compete at an international level. Known as ‘The Michael Jordan of Wheelchair Basketball’; he represented Team GB at the European and World Championships and the Sydney Olympics, winning a bronze medal in Athens.
2014 saw Ade join BBC World’s The Travel Show; which sees him traversing the world. He also fronted the live ten day coverage, of The Winter Paralympic Games on C4. In 2015 Ade won Best Male TV Star at the Screen Nation Awards; an organisation that celebrates UK and global film and TV personalities from African heritage.
Documentary work includes ‘This World’ for BBC2, exploring the clothing industry in Ghana; a Dispatches special on Stop and Search; an investigation into the growth of West African Churches in the UK; his third and fourth Unreported World’s on persecuted trans gender individuals living in Jamaica and a teacher keeping a school open in gang torn Honduras, all for C4.
Ade Adepitan investigated the proposed government cuts to the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), for Dispatches and for Unreported World. He travelled to Cuba and Mexico; looking into Cuban sports stars who chose to defect and the institutionalised mental health care, in Mexico City. Journey of My Lifetime, found Ade returning to his country of birth Nigeria. To look at why it remains one of the only places in the world where Polio is still endemic.
Sport on TV
Ade was the face of all things Olympic and Paralympic, for London 2012. He fronted the live (BAFTA winning) daily, prime time coverage of C4’s Paralympic shows; besides 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 on The One Show and recently made a series of films for them, about UK cycle paths. He also recorded a Desert Island Disc’s for Radio 4 in September 2012.
Sports TV 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 C4
- Interviewing big name stars at the O2 for NBA Europe Live, as well as at The All – Star Game in New Orleans
Ade Adepitan 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.
Other TV Work
His talents don’t just lie in sport presenting; in 2010 he acted as a judge on BBC3’s Dancing on Wheels, besides 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 dancing; to win the chance of competing at the Wheelchair European Ballroom Championships.
2005 saw Ade 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 Adepitan often 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 acting role; for BBC1’s popular kids’ drama, Desperados. He has also acted in Brit feature film Freight, ITV1’s Hardware and BBC1’s Casualty.
Everybody Loves Ade
An instantly recognised face, Ade Adepitan appeared in high profile idents for BBC1 and presented BBC’s daily X-Change show 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’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 and Scope. Ade was an Ambassador for London’s 2012 Olympic bid and is now on the advisory board of LOCOG. He was also a consultant for Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage. 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).
In 2006 Ade Adepitan 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. In 2010, Ade was given 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.
Ade Adepitan has done a number of high profile public speaking events, including the launch of the 2012 Olympic bid at the Royal Opera House besides Tony Blair. He works mostly in the UK giving motivational speeches to schools, charities and businesses including: The Royal Mail, BUPA, NSPCC, BAA, Lloyds TSB and BT.
At The Holocaust Memorial in Westminster Abbey in January 2005, Ade performed a poem with Stephen Fry, detailing the plight of children with disabilities; in front of the Queen and other luminaries. He is a highly effective inspirational speaker and an ideal choice for conferences and events.
So Book Ade Adepitan Today!
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
Some reviews of Ade Adepitan
Herbert Smith LLP
Ade was absolutely fantastic and really connected with the audience… a really nice person and very down to earth with an interesting story to hear. The audience really enjoyed it, they had lots of questions to ask at the end and were still asking questions during the drinks reception after the talk, which Ade seemed more than happy to respond to.
Funny, personal, raw and very emotional – there were a number of red eyes in the audience.