Julie Walters is revealed as the new voice of LEXI


Superstar and multi-awarding winning actress Julie Walters has been revealed as the new voice of Channel 4’s on-screen classification system, LEXI.

Viewers of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony heard Julie Walter’s familiar tones as Clare Balding ‘auditioned’ the final celebrity to put themselves forward as the voice of the ground-breaking classification system.

Julie’s voice will accompany the on-screen graphic and talk viewers through the classification system that groups athletes with different impairments enabling them to compete fairly against one another.

The revolutionary on-screen system, LEXI, was first introduced at the London Paralympics and helped viewers understand how athletes with different impairments can be grouped into classes and are able to compete fairly against one another.

The LEXI system, created by Paralympic gold medallist Giles Long MBE, has been completely overhauled for Rio with three dimensional animation replacing much of the on-screen text, giving the audience greater understanding by linking impairment types with the functional attributes important for success in each sport.

In the build up to the big reveal several celebrities entered into the spirit of the comedic sketches poking fun at themselves in their LEXI ‘auditions’ while an exasperated Clare Balding watched on. All of the sketches are available to watch again on All 4.

Stars who took part in the fun included Professor Stephen Hawking who insisted he could do a wide variety of different voices, even though each effort was exactly the same. Joanna Lumley became rather too carried away in the recording booth in her ‘audition’ with a voice far too sensuous and sultry for the LEXI role. And Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville slipped straight back into his Lord Grantham character.

But as soon as Julie entered the ‘auditioning’ booth, there was no doubt that the actress, whose list of awards includes eight BAFTAs, a Golden Globe, and a CBE in a career spanning more than four decades, was perfect for the part. Her voice will feature throughout Channel 4’s Paralympic coverage when the LEXI graphic appears on-screen explaining the classification system.

Notes to Editors

Channel 4 is planning to broadcast more than 600 hours of coverage from Rio across all platforms, including more than 120 hours of live sport on TV.

The Last Leg will broadcast daily, live from Rio in primetime.

The Rio Games will be the most accessible Paralympics ever with subtitles available across all coverage and live audio description and signing of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies simulcast on 4seven. And there will be audio described and signed editions of The Last Leg available each evening on 4seven soon after the live broadcast. Accessible versions of both The Opening and Closing Ceremonies and editions of The Last Leg will be available on All 4.

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