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 15, Episode 3

Lloyd Langford, Henning Wehn, Sara Pascoe and Miles Jupp join David Mitchell to lie on the subjects of zoos, theft, phones and hands.

Further details

The Truths

Lloyd Langford - Zoos

- Monkeys in a zoo in Omsk, Russia, once went on hunger strike after the keepers failed to satisfy their addiction to onions. Found by Henning.

- When a giraffe was first introduced to Paris Zoo in 1827 it set off a chain of giraffe fashions including spotted fabrics. Found by Sara.

- Sir Hissalot, a king cobra once kept at London Zoo measured 18'9", but was killed by the zoo keepers at the outbreak of World War II for fear it would escape and harm locals. Found by Henning.

- In 2006, Adwaita, Clive of India's pet giant tortoise, died in a Calcutta Zoo aged 255. He was the planet's oldest known animal inhabitant. Found by Henning.

- The first video uploaded onto YouTube was "Me at the Zoo", and featured a man standing in front of an elephant enclosure describing how long their trunks are. Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - Theft

- A Tibetan dating ritual involves a man stealing a woman's hat. If she likes him, she will ask for her hat back. Found by Lloyd.

- American cage fighter Jarrod Wyatt once stole the heart from his training partner, ripping it out before biting into it. Found by Miles.

- Thieves once stole a portable public toilet in Gomel, Belarus, unaware that there was someone inside it at the time. Found by Lloyd.

- St. Nicholas is the patron saint of thieves, but only if they repent. He is also patron saint of children, fishermen and broadcasters. Found by Lloyd.

- On Human Kindness Day in Washington DC in 1975 there were more than 500 robberies, 32 acts of arson and 17 acts of violence towards police officers. Found by Sara.

Sara Pascoe - Phones

- Five of the top ten best-selling novels in Japan in 2007 were written on mobile phones. Found by Henning.

- The first mobile phone sold cost £2,000 and was the size of a briefcase. Found by Lloyd.

- The first person in Britain to own a videophone was Jeremy Beadle. Found by Miles.

- Ernest Hemmingway was afraid of telephones. Found by Miles. Accidentally mentioned in passing by Henning.

- It is possible to get a mobile phone signal at the top of Mount Everest, including 4G wireless technology. Successfully smuggled.

Miles Jupp - Hands

- In 1959 the actor James Stewart smuggled what was believed to the mummified hand of a yeti into England in his wife's lingerie. It was examined by an Oxford professor who could not conclusively prove what sort of bones they were. Found by Lloyd.

- The World Mosquito Killing Championship which is held in Finland sees competitors trying to kill as many mosquitos as possible with just their hands alone in five minutes. Found by Henning.

- Using only one hand German Thomas Vogel can unhook 56 women's bras in one minute. Found by Lloyd.

- Gemma Arterton was born with 12 fingers. Found by Lloyd.

- Grace Kelly was startled by where Prince Rainier shoved his hand the first time she visited Monaco. In a bid to impress her, Rainier stuck his band in a panther cage in the palace zoo. Successfully smuggled.


- Lloyd Langford: 7 points
- Henning Wehn: -2 points
- Miles Jupp: -3 points
- Sara Pascoe: -6 points

Broadcast details

Monday 7th September 2015
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Henning Wehn Guest
Miles Jupp Guest
Lloyd Langford Guest
Sara Pascoe Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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