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 6

Sarah Millican, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Holly Walsh and Katherine Ryan join David Mitchell to lie on the subjects of IKEA, marriage, Switzerland and chewing gum.

Further details

The Truths

Holly Walsh - IKEA

- The name of one of IKEA's children's bunk beds translates into German as "the excellent intercourse bed." Found by Victoria.

- In 2013, twice as many IKEA catalogues printed as there were Bibles. Found by Sarah.

- IKEA stores are deliberately built like a maze. It helps to keep their customers inside the store for as long as possible, and they help to promote impulse buying. Successfully smuggled.

- IKEA's founder Ingvar Kamprad was a keen fan of the Nazis. He has been exposed as a Nazi sympathiser and a member of the Swedish Neo-Nazi movement during the 1940s and 1950s. Successfully smuggled.

- There is a girl named Ikea Dagless in Norwich, named after the stores. Successfully smuggled.

Katherine Ryan - Marriage

- Marriage is great. Found by Victoria. Accidentally included by Katherine.

- One Spartan marriage custom was for the bride to have her head shaved before the couple consummated, and for the bride to wear men's clothes and sandals. Found by Holly.

- Princess Diana had to call Prince Charles "Sir" before they were formally engaged. Found by Holly.

- In South Korea a common wedding present is Spam. South Koreans are the world's largest consumers of Spam outside the USA. Found by Victoria.

- One woman has married the Eiffel Tower. Erika La Tour Eiffel had a wedding ceremony in 2007, and has set up an organisation for those who develop loving relationships with inanimate objects. Found by Sarah.

- In an attempt to outlaw gay marriage Texas accidentally outlawed all marriage in 2005. Successfully smuggled.

Victoria Coren Mitchell - Switzerland

- Colonel Gaddafi said that Switzerland should be abolished. In 2002 he submitted a draft UN resolution saying that the land should be split between France, Germany and Italy. Found by Katherine.

- The holes in Swiss cheese are known as "eyes". Found by Sarah.

- Cuckoo clocks come from the Black Forest in Germany, and are therefore not Swiss. Successfully smuggled.

- The Swiss legal system forbids the population from hunting snails. In France you can only gather snails for personal use between April and June. Successfully smuggled.

- One man was refused Swiss citizenship for disliking cowbells. In 1983 a man from Czechoslovakia was rejected on these grounds, even though he had been living in the country for 14 years. Successfully smuggled.

Sarah Millican - Chewing Gum

- In Somalia it is illegal to carry old chewing gum stuck on the end of your nose. Found by Holly.

- The patient for Viagra chewing gum was secured by Wrigley's in the year 2000. Successfully smuggled.

- You burn 11 calories an hour when chewing gum. Successfully smuggled.

- The powder on some sticks of chewing gum is made out of finely ground marble. Successfully smuggled.

- Chewing gum can make your heart beat faster. A study of 234 students found that those student who were given gum to chew before a test performed better, by warming up the brain. This is known as "mastication induced arousal." Successfully smuggled.


- Sarah Millican and Victoria Coren Mitchell: -1 point
- Katherine Ryan: -5 points
- Holly Walsh: -7 points

Broadcast details

Monday 28th September 2015
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Holly Walsh Guest
Katherine Ryan Guest
Victoria Coren Mitchell Guest
Sarah Millican Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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