Kent Walton (22 August 1917 – 24 August 2003), born Kenneth Walton Beckett, was a British television sports commentator, presenter and actor. He is best remembered as the predominant commentator on ITV's coverage of British professional wrestling from 1955-1988.
Despite a transatlantic accent which led many to believe he was Canadian, he was born in Cairo, Egypt, the son of the finance minister in the colonial government. He grew up at Haslemere in Surrey and went to Charterhouse School.
He attended the Embassy School of Acting in London and appeared in rep. On the outbreak of war in 1939, he joined the Royal Air Force, serving in Bomber Command as a radio operator and front gunner. He acquired his accent mixing with Canadian airmen.
After the end of the war he returned to acting before commentating on tennis and football. He made his television wrestling commentary debut on the ITV network in November 1955, a job he kept for 33 years. At its peak in the 1970s, ITV's wrestling coverage, on World of Sport, could command up to 12 million between the football half-time and full-time results (4–4.40pm) on Saturdays. Although fans of ITV's wrestling coverage reportedly included the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother and Margaret Thatcher, enthusiasm was not shared by ITV's Head of Sport, Greg Dyke, and in 1988 he dropped the sport, a blow from which it never recovered.
Kent Walton was a disc jockey on Radio Luxembourg, and for a time presented two music TV shows, Honey Hit Parade and Cool for Cats. In the early sixties, he acted as a judge on Thank Your Lucky Stars on ITV.
In the early 1970s he was involved with British sexploitation movies and is credited as a producer of such films as Clinic Exclusive, aka Clinic Xclusive, aka With These Hands (1971) (as "Elton Hawke"). He used other pseudonyms to keep this part of his life from his fans, but it was revealed in a 1975 episode of the TV documentary series Man Alive.
Walton married Lynn Smith, the ex-wife of Leslie Grade in 1949, and they had a son.
Awards and accomplishments
- Meltzer, Dave (20 October 2011). "Thurs. update: Brisco, GSP updates, Hall feature, WWE drops announcer, TV show looks to be canceled". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 21 October 2011.