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 18, Episode 2

David Mitchell is joined by John Finnemore, Henning Wehn, Lou Sanders and Miles Jupp as they lie on the subjects of names, Germany, secrets and nudity.

Further details

The Truths

John Finnemore - Names

- Abingdon Boys School is the name of a rock band in Japan. Other Japanese rock bands include Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her and Mass of the Fermenting Dregs. Found by Henning.

- Lou Sanders is an anagram of "Slanderous". Found by Miles.

- The band Oasis got their name from a leisure centre in Swindon. Their original name was The Rain. Found by Lou.

- Richmond in California is named after Richmond in Virginia, which is named after Richmond in Surrey, which is named after Richmond in Yorkshire, which is named after Richemont in Normandy, which is believed to have been named after "the hill of Richard." Found by Henning.

- Charles II was known as Charles III. Nell Gwyn called him this because she already had two lovers called Charles. Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - Germany

- The Germans have the highest IQs in the world. The average IQ in Germany is 107, while in Britain it is 100. The British have the eighth highest IQs in Europe, and are beaten by the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, as well as Germany. Found by Lou.

- In Germany, Laurel and Hardy are known as "Fat and Stupid", or "Dick und Doof". Found by John.

- The fastest selling Playmobile figure of all time was of Martin Luther. Found by Lou.

- In Germany, Andy Capp is called Willi Wakker. Successfully smuggled.

- 9th November is a significant date in Germany, because it is the day Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated in 1918, the day the Munich Beer Hall Putsch happened in 1923, the day Kristallnacht happened in 1938, and the day the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. Successfully smuggled.

Lou Sanders - Secrets

- The Queen Mother once secretly turned up to see a rehearsal of her own funeral. Rehearsals took place every six months for decades before her death. Found by John.

- Abraham Lincoln set up the American Secret Service on the day he was shot. Found by Miles.

- The One Show interviewed an MI6 spy who talked very earnestly about his secret operations, but because of the heat of the lights in the studio his fake moustache slowly slipped off his face. When the interviewer told the spy about this, the spy just took the moustache off completely. Found by John.

- The Japanese are developing an invisibility cloak. Found by Miles. Accidentally included by Lou.

- The Japanese invisibility cloak project is being not being led by the singer Bryan Adams. Found by Miles. Accidentally included by Lou.

- British secret agents tried to spike Hitler's food with female hormones to change him into a woman. Successfully smuggled.

- A 2009 study of 3,000 women revealed the average amount of time women can hold onto a secret is 47 hours and 15 minutes. Successfully smuggled.

Miles Jupp - Nudity

- To qualify for a Dutch passport you have to watch a video featuring nude sunbathing and a gay kiss. Found by Henning.

- In Northern China the film The Fully Monty was called The Six Naked Pigs. Oliver Twist was translated as Child in Foggy City, and The English Patient became Do Not Ask Me Who I Am, Ever! Found by John.

- A Subbuteo shop in Wales has male and female streaker characters that you can play with. Found by Henning.

- The British Medical Journal once reported a series of experiments to find out if farting on a petri dish created bacterial growth. The experiments concluded that it did, if the person farting was naked. Found by Lou.

- Halfnaked is an old fashioned English surname. Other strange medieval surnames include Crackpot, Sweatinbed, Drunkard and Guildenbollocks. Successfully smuggled.


- John Finnemore: 4 points
- Henning Wehn: 3 points
- Lou Sanders: 0 points
- Miles Jupp: -1 point

Broadcast details

Monday 10th April 2017
BBC Radio 4

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Henning Wehn Guest
John Finnemore Guest
Miles Jupp Guest
Lou Sanders Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • Broadcast details of 5 further repeats of this episode

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?