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

The Unbelievable Truth

BBC Radio 4 panel show built on truth and lies. 153 episodes (pilot + 25 series), 2006 - 2021. Stars David Mitchell.

Another series is in development.

Series 19, Episode 3

David Mitchell is joined by Lloyd Langford, Henning Wehn, Ellie Taylor and John Finnemore as they lie on the subjects of dinosaurs, China, cake and bees.

Further details

The Truths

Lloyd Langford - Dinosaurs

- In 1992, a "Dinosaurs Live" exhibition in Memphis Zoo, Tennessee, got complaints from six people because the dinosaurs were not alive. Found by John.

- The cries of the velociraptors in Jurassic Park were originally the sounds of tortoises having sex. Found by Ellie.

- We know more about dinosaurs than we do about giant squid. Found by Ellie.

- Because it looked like a human scrotum, the first dinosaur fossil was called "Scrotum humanum". Successfully smuggled.

- Dinosaurs had crèches. Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - China

- The Longquan Temple has a 2 feet tall robot monk guide for tourists called the "Worthy Stupid Robot Monk". Found by Lloyd.

- China only has about 200 surnames, and almost 85% of the population share 100 surnames. Found by Ellie.

- It is illegal to reincarnate in China without filling a government reincarnation application form. China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission, in a policy aimed in cutting the influence of the Dalai Lama. Successfully smuggled.

- The Great Wall of China is held together using sticky rice. 600 years ago lime mixed with sticky rice was used as mortar. Successfully smuggled.

- 40 million people in China live in caves. Successfully smuggled.

Ellie Taylor - Cake

- Donna Summer once paid to fly her birthday cake first class. Found by Lloyd.

- Copenhagen, the Duke of Wellington's horse, died because he ate too many cakes. Found by Henning.

- Cheesecake was served to the first Olympians in Ancient Greece. Found by John.

- "Placenta" is the Latin for cake. Found by Lloyd.

- Kunga cake is a type of cake from Africa made from squashed midges. Successfully smuggled.

John Finnemore - Bees

- Honey is bee sick. According to the OED, vomiting is the act of ejecting contents of the stomach through the mouth. Honey is flower nectar that has been regurgitated by bees from their honey stomachs. Found by Henning.

- Bees can fly higher than Mount Everest. Two bees have been discovered flying at a height of over 29,000 feet. Found by Lloyd.

- Bees can be used to hunt down serial killers. Geographical profiling, where police use a map of the killer's crime scenes to locate areas to search, has been combined with computer simulations of bee movements. The police can refine their algorithms and make the technique more accurate. Successfully smuggled.

- Bees are basically just vegetarian wasps. Millions of years ago, some wasps stopped eating meat, became vegetarian, and bees evolved from theses wasps. Successfully smuggled.

- Most bees are solitary, misfit loners. The vast majority of bees species live on their own, unlike the honey bee. Successfully smuggled.


- Ellie Taylor: 1 point
- Henning Wehn: 0 points
- John Finnemore: -1 point
- Lloyd Langford: -3 points

Broadcast details

Monday 16th October 2017
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Henning Wehn Guest
John Finnemore Guest
Lloyd Langford Guest
Ellie Taylor Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Christine Rose Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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