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

Series 10, Episode 1

David Mitchell returns as the panel game built on truth and lies reaches double figures in Series 10. This week semi-regulars Tony Hawks and Lucy Porter are joined by Ed Byrne and Charlie Higson as they lie about pies, worms, dancing and James Bond.

Further details

The Truths

Tony Hawks - Pies

- ABBA's song "Waterloo" was originally going to be called "Honey Pie". Found by Ed.

- The 2007 World Pie Eating Championships were thrown into chaos after all the pies were eaten by the organiser's dog. Found by Lucy.

- Fruit pies had not been referenced until the reign of Elizabeth I. Found by Ed.

- The last words of William Pitt the Younger are believed to be: "I think I could eat one of Mr. Bellamy's veal pies." There is another theory that his last words however were actually: "Oh my country, how I leave my country." Found by Charlie.

- The second placed team in the 2008 World Custard Pie Throwing Championships was called "We Don't Like Asparagus". Successfully smuggled.

Lucy Porter - Dancing

- Wayne Sleep is in the Guinness Book of Records for performing an entrechant-douze, consisting of crossing and uncrossing his legs 12 times in a single jump in 1973. Found by Ed.

- Irish dancing used to be called "Door dancing" because they used more restrictive rules and spaces made by doors taken off their hinges or round barrel tops. Found by Tony.

- Morgan Freeman is trained in ballet, studying it for 5 years in San Francisco and New York. Successfully smuggled.

- The tango originated as a dance between two men. 19th century Buenos Aries had very few women and so men had to dance with each other. Successfully smuggled.

- In 1518 in Strasbourg there was a plague of dancing which lead to deaths from dance-related heart attacks and dehydration. It is now believed to have been a wave of mass hysteria. Successfully smuggled.

Ed Byrne - Worms

- Nematode worms were the first animals to have their genome sequenced because they are such a simplistic animal. Found by Tony.

- It was once thought that earthworms fell from the sky at night because they are often seen early in the morning following rain. Found by Tony.

- Worms can become addicted to nicotine and suffer terrible withdrawal symptoms. Successfully smuggled.

- "Digging for worms" is a euphemism for varicose vein surgery. Successfully smuggled.

- It was once a widely held belief, as late as the 20th century, that tooth decay and tooth acre was caused by worms. Successfully smuggled.

Charlie Higson - James Bond

- There is a minor planet called 9007 James Bond. It was named by Czech astronomers because of the number. Found by Lucy.

- The name for Blofeld came from the father of the English cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, whom Ian Fleming went to Eton with. Similarly, Scaramanga was named after George Scaramanga, who was also at Eton. Goldfinger was named after architect Erno Goldfinger. Found by Lucy.

- James Bond grew up with his aunt in the Kentish village of Pett Bottom, which is an actual place. It is revealed in his obituary in You Only Live Twice. Found by Lucy.

- The working title for Live and Let Die was The Undertaker's Wind. It is the name of a prevailing air flow in Jamaica, where Fleming wrote many of his Bond books. Successfully smuggled.

- Sir Ranulph Fiennes was considered for the part of James Bond. After Sean Connery left the role, Fiennes got down to the last six, but was turned down by producer Cubby Broccoli who told him: "You're hands are too big, and you've got a face like a farmer." Successfully smuggled.


- Lucy Porter: 4 points
- Ed Byrne: 2 points
- Charlie Higson: 1 point
- Tony Hawks: -1 point

Broadcast details

Monday 31st December 2012
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 6th January 2013 12:00pm Radio 4
Monday 7th January 2013 7:30am Radio 4 Extra
Monday 7th January 2013 10:00pm Radio 4 Extra

Cast & crew

David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Tony Hawks Guest
Lucy Porter Guest
Ed Byrne Guest
Charlie Higson Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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