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

The Unbelievable Truth

  • Radio panel show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2006 - 2021
  • 159 episodes (26 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 13, Episode 4

David Mitchell is joined by Lloyd Langford, Jon Richardson, Katherine Ryan and Graeme Garden as they lie on the subjects of Wales, fish, mouths and perfume.

Further details

The Truth

Lloyd Langford - Wales

- The world's first hexapus, a six-legged version of an octopus, was found off the Welsh coast. Named Henry, after King Henry VIII (of six wives fame) was found trapped in a lobster pot off the Anglesey coast in 2008. He lived for a two years and attracted attention as far afield as Japan. The second hexapus was found by an American family on holiday in Greece in 2013, but they did not know how rare it was, so they ate it. Found by Katherine.

- The University College of North Wales, Bangor, invented a GPS tracking system for sheep known as the Bangor Orange Positioning Estimated Equipment for Pastures, or BO PEEP, in 1977. Found by Graeme.

- A hole in the ground in Wales was once considered a private members club. This was to get around the strict Sunday Closing Wales Act of 1881, which banned the sale of alcohol in Welsh pubs on the Sabbath, as private members clubs were exempt. In 1893, residents of Grangetown won the right to call a hole in the ground, next to which they spread a carpet, an invitation only private members club called the "Hotel de Marle". Found by Jon.

- Wales is the birthplace of the equals sign. Invented by Robert Recorde in 1557, he described it as: "A pair of parallels of one length, because no two things can be more equal." Successfully smuggled.

- Port Talbot boasts the longest orangery in Britain. It is 327 feet long and was built between 1786-1790 by Dr. Thomas Mansell. Successfully smuggled.

Katherine Ryan - Mouths

- There are more bacteria in the human mouth than they are in the human anus. The anal bacteria have the potential to be far more dangerous however, and include MRSA and E-Coli. Found by Lloyd.

- Poorer Ancient Greeks carried money in their mouths in order to foil thieves. Found by Graeme.

- In the African Tahiki tribe if a man offers a woman beer and she spits some into the man's mouth, they are engaged to be married. Found by Graeme.

- Queen Elizabeth I put cotton cloths in her mouth to puff up her cheeks as her toothlessness made them sink. Found by Graeme.

- American Gary Bushshaw can make milkshake by mixing chocolate powder and milk in his mouth and squirting the mixture out of his nose. In 1999 made a record-breaking 54ml in one go. Successfully smuggled.

Jon Richardson - Fish

- Flounders can disguise themselves as chessboards. It changes colour to protect itself and can look like a set of black-and-white squares. Found by Lloyd.

- Sea cucumbers can change from a solid to a liquid state to protect themselves. It liquefies the non-vital organs to squeeze its body into small crevices. Found by Graeme.

- The grunts of the gurnard are the warning that a thunder storm is on the way. Successfully smuggled.

- The age of fish can be dated by counting the rings in their ear bones. Successfully smuggled.

- Samsung's first ever product was dried fish. Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Perfume

- Avon's Skin So Soft is the preferred lotion of the marines in the west of Scotland, as it is useful for keeping midges away. It works better than the army issued mosquito repellent. Found by Katherine.

- Chanel No. 5 was the fifth sample of perfume Coco Chanel tested, and was put on sale for the first time on the fifth day of the fifth month. Found by Katherine.

- In Japan a telephone has been developed which sends odours to your friend's smartphone. Found by Katherine.

- In the film The Devil Bat Bela Lugosi plays a mad scientist who trains bats to attack people upon smelling a perfume shaving lotion. Successfully smuggled.

- Donald Trump has released a perfume called The Fragrance, which one Amazon reviews describes as: "Gold-diggers and bimbos will love it." Other Amazon reviews of Trump: The Fragrance say: "I don't think Donald Trump knows that his name means 'fart', and I don't think he employs people honest enough to tell him" and "I brought some Trump: The Fragrance and tried it out recently. When my wife got a whiff of me she said I wasn't allowed in the house until November unless she could hose that smell off me." Successfully smuggled.


- Graeme Garden: 5 points
- Katherine Ryan: 3 points
- Lloyd Langford: 0 points
- Jon Richardson: -2 points

Broadcast details

Monday 28th April 2014
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 4th May 2014 12:00pm Radio 4
Monday 5th May 2014 7:30am Radio 4 Extra
Monday 5th May 2014 10:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Wednesday 3rd October 2018 9:00am Radio 4 Extra
Wednesday 3rd October 2018 4:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Thursday 4th October 2018 4:00am Radio 4 Extra

Cast & crew

David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Lloyd Langford Guest
Katherine Ryan Guest
Jon Richardson Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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