Harry Carpenter (b 17 October 1925 in London), is a former BBC sports commentator broadcasting from the early 1950s until his retirement in 1994. His speciality was boxing. He was presenter of programmes such as Sportsnight (1975-1985) and Grandstand and also anchored coverage of Wimbledon and golf tournaments.
He was famous for his rapport with former WBC World Heavyweight Champion Frank Bruno. Carpenter often conducted post-match interviews with Bruno, whose catchphrase was "know what I mean, 'arry?", and their relationship helped give Bruno a "cuddly bear" image and a popularity with the British public beyond the boxing fraternity.
The son of a wholesale fish merchant at Billingsgate Market, Carpenter attended Selhurst Grammar School in Croydon. He began sports reporting as a sub-editor for several national newspapers. He joined the BBC in 1949 and was the corporation's full-time boxing correspondent from 1962 until 1994, when Jim Neilly replaced him in that capacity. He served as a boxing columnist for the Sporting Record from 1950-1954. He then joined the Daily Mail as a boxing writer and sports columnist from 1954-1962.
While writing for the national papers, Carpenter was broadcasting regularly on radio and television, covering thousands of professional and amateur fights including all Olympic games from 1956 until 1992. He has authored three books on boxing, produced the documentary, The Richest Prize in Sport, and served as the voice of the Hall of Fame series, Sports Archive and Great Moments in Sport.
While his name was most often associated with boxing, Carpenter established himself as one of England’s most versatile sportscasters, covering many of the major sporting events. He has been a regular member of the broadcast team on Sportsnight and Grandstand and covered all major golf tournaments since 1965 until his retirement. He also served as the commentator on the Oxford/Cambridge University Boat Race, and greyhound racing. In 1967, Carpenter began covering Wimbledon for BBC until 1993.
He now lives in the South of France.
The alleged quote 'The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of the Oxford crew.', is a distortion of a joke doing the rounds at the time when Princess Margaret was engaged to Anthony Armstrong Jones, who had actually been the cox of the Cambridge Crew.
Q: What has Princess Margaret done that no other royalty has done? A: Kissed the Cox of the Cambridge crew!!