The Unbelievable Truth. David Mitchell. Copyright: BBC / Random Entertainment
The Unbelievable Truth

The Unbelievable Truth

  • Radio panel show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2006 - 2022
  • 165 episodes (27 series)

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

Episode menu

Pilot, Episode 1

The orignal pilot epiosde. In it Graeme Garden talks about bees, Jeremy Hardy looks at hair, Andy Hamilton discusses football and Neil Mullarkey chats about cats.

Further details

The Truths

Jeremy Hardy - Hair

- Despite the myth, hair stops growing when we die. Found by Graeme.

- Hot weather makes your hair grow faster. Found by Andy.

- Blondes have more hair per square inch than anyone else. Redheads have the least. Found by Neil.

- A head of hair could, in theory, support the weight of two elephants. Found by Graeme.

- It was once thought that witches used their hair to control the weather. Successfully smuggled.

Andy Hamilton - Football

- The Aztecs invented chocolate. Found by Neil. Accidentally included by Andy.

- Originally the ball was egg-shaped until Indian rubber was used to make it round. Found by Graeme.

- One early football game involved playing with the head of a Danish prince. Found by Jeremy.

- When the first modern football rules were founded by Thomas Arnold of Rugby School in 1860, you were allowed to kick a player below the knee, so long as you were not part of a gang holding them down. Found by Graeme.

- In the early 1970s Chelsea played a team from Luxembourg which included a player with only one arm. Successfully smuggled.

- The penalty was a 20th century invention originally called "The Kick of Death". Successfully smuggled.

Neil Mullarkey - Cats

- Cats have lived with humans for about 4,000 years. Found by Jeremy.

- The Russian blue cat sometimes has an extra toe. Found by Graeme before it was given.

- Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat flap. Found by Andy.

- A group of kittens is called a "kindle". Found by Andy.

- The only feline thing about Dick Whittington was that his trading ship was called "The Cat". Found by Jeremy.

Graeme Garden - Bees

- Bees have five eyes. Found by Andy.

- Sniffer bees are being used to find drugs. They have a better sense of smell than dogs and can be trained within three days. Successfully smuggled.

- In Slovakia, hives are carved into the shape of the beekeeper and his wife so that bees will recognise them. Successfully smuggled.

- The carpenter bee is the world's largest bee and has been known to mate with almost anything that flies including light aircraft and hand gliders. Successfully smuggled.

- The world's smallest advert which was used to advertise the launch of the Guinness Book of Records website was on a knee-band worn by a bee. Successfully smuggled.


- Graeme Garden: 11 points
- Andy Hamilton and Neil Mullarkey: 1 point
- Jeremy Hardy: -3 points

Broadcast details

Thursday 19th October 2006
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Jeremy Hardy Guest
Andy Hamilton Guest
Neil Mullarkey Guest
Writing team
Iain Pattinson Writer
David Quantick Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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