Ade Adepitan

Adedoyin Olayiwola "Ade" Adepitan MBE (born 27 March 1973) is a British television presenter and wheelchair basketball player. He uses a wheelchair as a result of contracting polio as a child which led to the loss of use of his left leg.

Ade Adepitan
Ade Adepitan.jpg
Adepitan in 2010
Personal information
Full nameAdedoyin Olayiwola Adepitan
Nationality United Kingdom
Born (1973-03-27) 27 March 1973 (age 47)
Maryland, Lagos, Nigeria
EmployerBBC, Channel 4

Early lifeEdit

Adepitan was born in the Maryland district in Lagos, Nigeria, on 27 March 1973. At the age of fifteen months, Adepitan contracted polio which resulted in the loss of function of his left leg, and ultimately prevented him from walking.[1]

At the age of three, Adepitan and his mother emigrated to the United Kingdom to join his father; who lived in the London Borough of Newham. He was educated at Southern Road Primary School in Plaistow which he credits with helping him with his disability and problems at home. From an early age, he had aspirations of becoming an international sportsman. He also attended Lister Community School.[2]

Basketball careerEdit

Adepitan is an accomplished wheelchair basketball player, for his club Milton Keynes Aces[chronology citation needed][3] and as a member of Great Britain team that won the bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and the gold medal at the 2005 Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.[4]

Television and media careerEdit

Adepitan has featured on many television programmes and series as an actor, presenter or guest, particularly for the BBC. He often uses television as a platform to campaign against racism and disability discrimination. He was one of three wheelchair basketball players featured in the 2002 BBC One ident Hip-Hop. He was one of the main presenters of the children's programme Xchange produced for CBBC and has appeared in the soap opera EastEnders. He starred as wheelchair basketball coach, "Baggy Awolowo", in the TV series Desperados.[5]

In 2005, Adepitan participated in Beyond Boundaries which was a four-part documentary in which Adepitan trekked through rainforests, deserts, rivers and mountains in Nicaragua and made his own video diary filmed in London and Spain, talking about his sporting aspirations and how he coped as a London boy living in Zaragoza unable to speak any Spanish.[6]

Adepitan has become increasingly involved in making documentaries for Channel 4; he was appointed as one of the main presenters on Channel 4 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games and co-presents That Paralympic Show with Rick Edwards.[7] and in 2013, he presented a Channel 4 Dispatches programme, Britain on Benefits, as well as a documentary for Channel 4's Unreported World about Cuban basketball players, Cuba, Basketball and Betrayal.[8] He was also part of the Channel 4 2014 Winter Paralympic Games and the Rio 2016 Paralympics presenting team alongside Clare Balding.

Adepitan has also worked with the BBC, having presented the Invictus Games, guest-presenting an episode of The One Show alongside Alex Jones. In 2016, Adepitan co-presented three-part BBC Two series New York: America's Busiest City alongside Anita Rani and Ant Anstead. Since 2016, Adepitan has co-presented the BBC's Children in Need appeal. In 2017 he co-presented World's Busiest Cities with Anita Rani and Dan Snow and in 2019, Adepitan presented a new four-part series for BBC Two Africa with Ade Adepitan,[9] traveling across Africa, from West Africa and city of his birth - Lagos in Nigeria - through Central and Eastern Africa and on to the deep south of the continent.

Charity worksEdit

Adepitan does a lot of charity work, particularly supporting many charities to help other people with physical disabilities. He is a patron of Go Kids Go (formerly known as Association of Wheelchair Children). He is also a great supporter of the National Society of the Prevention of the Cruelty to Children Charity (NSPCC) and the WheelPower Charity. Adepitan travelled to Ghana in support of Comic Relief. He also participated in the Disabled Motoring UK Alps 2011 Challenge.[10] Adepitan is also an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play, the world's leading sport for development charity.[11]


Adepitan was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to disability sport in 2005.[12] He was also presented with an Honorary Doctorate from Loughborough University, in recognition of his outstanding services to, and performances in, disability sport.[4] The same year, Adepitan was awarded a 'Certificate of Excellence' by the Champions Club UK in recognition not only of his efforts at promoting disability sport, but also for being a positive role model. He was particularly commended for his strong and persistent message of hope within the young black disabled community.[13]

He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award by the University of East London in 2010, and had an Honorary Doctorate conferred by the university in November 2010.[14]

In 2020, Adepitan was included in the Powerlist of the 100[15] most influential Black British people.

Personal lifeEdit

On 19 August 2018, Adepitan married Scottish singer Linda Harrison (who performs as Elle Exxe)[16][17] in St Paul's Cathedral[18] and had their first child on the 4th January 2021.[19]


  1. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (18 August 2013). "Ade Adepitan: 'We got up to crazy things – disabled kids were wild and cool'". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  2. ^ Iosias, Jody (10 December 2011). Ade Adepitan. Cred Press. ISBN 6139885450.
  3. ^ "Ade's Olympic Dreams". BBC Sport Academy. 15 July 2002. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Ade Adepitan, MBE". The Newham Story. Newham Borough Council. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Ade Adepitan". IMDb. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  6. ^ COWAN, AMBER. "Not just anybody: Ade Adepitan". The Times. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  7. ^ The Presenters Ade Adepitan
  8. ^ "Channel 4's Unreported World with Ade Adepitan | News". Sightsavers. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  9. ^ Africa with Ade Adepitan on IMDb
  10. ^ "Disabled Motoring UK - Alps Challenge and Inaugural Awards Ceremony".
  11. ^ "Ambassadors, Right to play". Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  12. ^ "MBEs for CBBC's Ade Adepitan and South Today's Sally Taylor" (Press release). BBC. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  13. ^ "Motivational Monday - Ade Adepitan". Disability Network. 10 June 2019. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  14. ^ ""East London the place to be", say ground-breaking artists" (Press release). University of East London. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  15. ^ "2019 | Alumnus named on Black Powerlist for the third time | Loughborough Alumni | Loughborough University". Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Ade Adepitan marries Linda Harrison at St Paul's Cathedral". HELLO!. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  19. ^ Adepitan, Ade (4 January 2021). "I'm still buzzing!! Because at 6:36 am this morning I became a father for the first time. So much respect for my wife @ElleExxe she absolutely smashed it, and now we have a beautiful baby boy!". Twitter.

External linksEdit