This film is part of Free

Smallest Woman in the World

Living in a world that makes no concessions for her size: Joyce Carpenter is Britain's smallest woman.

News 1972 8 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


Joyce Carpenter from Bromsgrove was thought to be the smallest woman in the world when she appeared in this ATV Today film in 1972. At twenty-nine inches tall she is, in her own words, "making the best of it", in an environment which presents her with a series of daily challenges from posting a letter to learning to drive and even cleaning her home. But these practical issues are only one side of her battle as it's the stares and words from unthinking people that cause the most hurt.

Thought to be the smallest woman in the world during her lifetime Joyce Carpenter died less that a year after featuring in this film on 7 August 1973. She is still considered to be the smallest woman who has ever lived in Britain.