The Unbelievable Truth

A new series of this comedy is in production.

David Mitchell hosts the Radio 4 panel game built on truth and lies. Contestants must try and smuggle truths into lie-filled speeches

Panel Show
2006 - 2015  (BBC Radio 4)
93 (pilot + 15 series)
David Mitchell
Graeme Garden, Jon Naismith, Iain Pattinson, Dan Gaster, Colin Swash, John Finnemore
Random Entertainment
& British Broadcasting Corporation

This radio show, hosted by David Mitchell, sees four players each giving a lecture on a subject - with the majority of their speeches consisting of fabricated lies. However, each contestant must attempt to smuggle five strange-but-true facts past the rest of the panel, hoping that no-one will notice what they have said is the unbelievable truth.

Our Review: An entertaining series created by two of the people behind long-running BBC Radio 4 panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, specifically ISIHAC panellist Graeme Garden and producer Jon Naismith.

The programme delivers some great moments from host Mitchell (who is well known for his talent in the panel show genre), plus the format has the added bonus of being educational as well as entertaining.

However, it should be noted that not everyone is a fan. It has been pointed out in the past that some of the truths have been incorrect. Also some listeners say they find the scripted element of the format (the bits where the comedians read out their lectures) dominates too much over the free-flowing banter. That said, we've noticed the more recent series are giving over more time to discussion around the challenges, making for some very humourous asides.

Overall, it certainly appears as if The Unbelievable Truth has the potential to join the ranks of the likes of Just A Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue as one of Radio 4's long-running popular panel game formats. In January 2012 it won the BCG's Award for "Best British Radio Panel Show 2011".