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

The Unbelievable Truth

  • Radio panel show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2006 - 2022
  • 171 episodes (28 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 16, Episode 1

Henning Wehn, Jon Richardson, Susan Calman and Jack Dee are the panellists obliged to talk with deliberate inaccuracy on subjects as varied as tattoos, milk, supermarkets and Vladimir Putin.

Further details

The Truths

Jon Richardson - Milk

- Yak's milk is pink, due to it containing blood. Found by Susan.

- A pint of supermarket milk can contain the milk from over a thousand cows, due to the size of dairy farms. The UK's largest dairy farm has 2,000 cows, while the Chinese are building a dairy farm with 100,000 cows. Found by Susan.

- The Chinese are the largest importers of milk, despite around 90% of the population being lactose intolerant. Found by Henning.

- The human body makes different types of milk for boys and girls. Found by Henning.

- Milk can help reduce the symptoms of PMT by half. Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - Tattoos

- Macaques on Gibraltar are tattooed and microchipped so the police can identify them. Found by Susan.

- In Roman times, runaway slaved had the letter "FUG" tattooed on their heads, meaning "fugitive". Found by Susan.

- Young girls from the Ainu tribe, the aboriginal people of Japan, used to have moustache tattoos on their upper lips to symbolise that they were ready for marriage. Found by Susan.

- Winston Churchill had a tattoo of an anchor on his arm. Found by Jon.

- Mick Hucknall has a tattoo of the EU flag on his arm. Found by Susan.

Susan Calman - Supermarkets

- Most men buy melons most similar to how they would like their girlfriend's breasts to be like. Found by Henning.

- Lidl shoppers can buy goods as diverse as men's business shoes, trumpets and a pipe installation kit. Successfully smuggled.

- Tesco sells a nine-carat gold engagement ring for £15. Successfully smuggled.

- You can buy disco-themed rice in Argentina known as "Diana Arroz" (pronounced Diana Ross). "Arroz" is "rice" in Spanish. Successfully smuggled.

- Tesco once sold a £2 lasagne sandwich that contained 565 calories. Tesco claimed that this was a world first and tried to present it as a healthy option, despite having the same fat content as two McDonald's cheeseburgers. Successfully smuggled.

Jack Dee - Vladimir Putin

- In Russia you can buy Putin canned vegetable and mushroom products, but these are not connected to President Putin or his family. Found by Jon.

- One of the things on Putin's wish list is: "to bump off in a toilet". He said he would like to do this to Chechen terrorists, in the sense that anyone who didn't like Putin's regime would be killed in a lavatory. Found by Susan.

- Steven Segal has given Vladimir Putin martial arts tips. Found by Susan.

- Putin gets up to eat breakfast at noon, because he sleeps late. Other people who were not early risers include Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill. Successfully smuggled.

- Putin is a fan of The Beatles, and as a teenager he played their songs on his high school's radio station. Successfully smuggled.


- Susan Calman: 6 points
- Jon Richardson: 0 points
- Henning Wehn: -2 points
- Jack Dee: -4 points

Broadcast details

Monday 4th April 2016
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 10th April 2016 12:00pm Radio 4
Monday 11th April 2016 7:30am Radio 4 Extra
Monday 11th April 2016 5:30pm Radio 4 Extra
Monday 11th April 2016 10:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Tuesday 12th April 2016 5:30am Radio 4 Extra
Monday 16th March 2020 9:00am Radio 4 Extra
Monday 16th March 2020 4:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Tuesday 17th March 2020 4:00am Radio 4 Extra
Saturday 21st March 2020 12:00pm Radio 4 Extra

Cast & crew

David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Jack Dee Guest
Henning Wehn Guest
Susan Calman Guest
Jon Richardson Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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