By Duncan Mackay

Channel 4 ParalympicsMay 12 - Channel 4's coverage of the Paralympics in London last year tonight won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) award for best sport and live event. 

They were surprisingly chosen ahead of the BBC, who had been nominated twice, once for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics and then again for "Super Saturday", when Team GB won a record six gold medals.

"The Paralympics went from zero recognition with the British public to this huge event," said Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4 sports editor.

"It was, of course, important the athletes were succcessful - and by the Paralympics we had a nation with an appetite for more success.

"And then the 'Superhumans' campaign was huge and made everyone more aware.

"We knew we couldn't do it the same [as the BBC].

"We've always been the bridesmaids up until now.

"This award is testament to people recognising something other than the biggest event.

"We had disabled presenters who knew about the sport - and we chose the tone; educating people in an entertaining way."

Channel 4 Paralympics team after BAFTA awardChannel 4's team of Alex Brooker, Rachel Lathan, Deborah Poulton, Jamie Aitchison, Ade Adepitan, Gary Franses and Giles Long celebrate winning the Sport and Live Event award for The London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Bafta Television Awards 2013

It is the second BAFTA for the Channel 4 Paralympics team who also won the craft award for digital creativity.

One of the Paralympic presenters, Ade Adepitan, a member of Britain's wheelchair basketball team that had won a Paralympic bronze medal at Athens 2004, said the win was "an absolute honour".

"Thank you Channel 4, for letting us be ourselves," he said.

There was also a special award for sports presenter Claire Balding who hosted much of the Olympics coverage and then the Paralympics.

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