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

The Unbelievable Truth

BBC Radio 4 panel show built on truth and lies. 147 episodes (pilot + 24 series), 2006 - 2020. Stars David Mitchell.

New series to air in late 2020..
Series 17, Episode 6 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra on Monday at 9am.

Series 1, Episode 3

Alan Davies talks about the London Underground, Clive Anderson looks at the Ancient Egyptians, Jo Brand discusses Queen Elizabeth I and Jeremy Hardy chats about chickens.

Further details

The Truths

Jeremy Hardy - Chickens

- In France, unfaithful wives were made to chase a chicken through town naked. Found by Jo.

- Live chickens were used to sweep chimneys. Found by Alan.

- When a chicken and a turkey mate they produce a turken. Successfully smuggled.

- Chickens are usually covered in feathers unless they go bald through stress. Successfully smuggled.

- By 1979, Colonel Sanders was the second most recognised public figure on the planet. Successfully smuggled.

Alan Davies - The London Underground

- The average time to commit suicide on the London Underground is 11.00am. Found by Jo.

- Harry Beck was paid 5 guineas for his design of the London Underground Tube Map. Found by Clive.

- The first tube carriages were heavily padded. Successfully smuggled.

- Cadbury's Whole Nut is the most popular chocolate bar brought from London Underground vending machines. Successfully smuggled.

- Julian Lloyd Webber, brother of Andrew, was given the first buskers licence on the tube. Successfully smuggled.

Jo Brand - Queen Elizabeth I

- During his funeral, Henry VIII's guts exploded because his corpse was so rotten. Found by Clive. Accidentally included by Jo.

- Elizabeth I had 2,000 dresses. Successfully smuggled.

- Elizabeth I hated the smell of leather. Successfully smuggled.

- Elizabeth I drank beer for breakfast. Successfully smuggled.

- Elizabeth I made all girls over the age of seven wear hats. Successfully smuggled.

- Elizabeth I spat and swore a lot. Successfully smuggled.

Clive Anderson - The Ancient Egyptians

- During mummification, the brain was removed through the nose with a hook. Found by Jeremy.

- Only High Priests could wear cotton. Found by Alan.

- Altars were built in honour of cabbages. Successfully smuggled.

- Cobra skins were used as condoms. Successfully smuggled.

- European painters used a brown pigment called "Mummy", made from mummies, to paint in brown. Successfully smuggled.


- Jeremy Hardy: 3 points
- Alan Davies: 2 points
- Jo Brand: 1 point
- Clive Anderson: 0 points

Broadcast details

Monday 7th May 2007
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Jeremy Hardy Guest
Clive Anderson Guest
Alan Davies Guest
Jo Brand Guest
Writing team
Iain Pattinson Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer