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 18, Episode 6 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra today at 4am.

Series 19, Episode 5

David Mitchell is joined by Mark Steel, Holly Walsh, Tony Hawks and Fred MacAulay as they lie on the subjects of twins, Sean Connery, golf and photography.

Further details

The Truth

Tony Hawks - Twins

- In 2012, the town of Boring, Oregon, twinned with the village of Dull, Scotland. Found by Fred.

- Andy Garcia was a Siamese twin. He was born with an undeveloped conjoined twin the size of a tennis ball attached to his soldier, which was surgically removed. Successfully smuggled.

- It was a pair of twin boys from Ohio who invented wedgie-proof underpants. They were invented by Jared and Justin Serovich. Successfully smuggled.

- The Russians have a twins-only paramilitary unit, because of the way twins work together as a team. Successfully smuggled.

- In 2009, a Thai man married two twin sisters simultaneously. Successfully smuggled.

Holly Walsh - Sean Connery

- Before becoming an actor, Connery worked as a milkman. He left school at 14 and had this job before joining the navy. Found by Mark.

- Connery turned down the part of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. Director Peter Jackson wanted Connery to play the part so much that he offered him 15% of the worldwide box office for all three films. He turned it down because he didn't understand the script, saying: "I read the book, I read the script, I saw the movie, I still don't understand it." Successfully smuggled.

- Connery was so confused when filming Dr. No that he accidentally said: "The name's Connery, Sean Connery", rather than, "The name's Bond, James Bond". According to Eunice Gayson, the first ever Bond girl, he was so nervous he kept fluffing the line. He also said, "Sean Bond" and "James Connery". Successfully smuggled.

- Another of Connery's early jobs was coffin polisher. He was also a brick layer, a lifeguard, and a nude life model. Successfully smuggled.

- Sir Matt Busby offered Connery a place at Manchester United. Busby offered him a £25 per week contract in the early 1950s, but Connery turned it down on the grounds that he thought he could get a longer career in acting. Successfully smuggled.

Mark Steel - Golf

- Some women own their own golf courses. Found by Fred. Accidentally included by Mark.

- Celine Dion owns a golf course near Montreal. Found by Tony.

- Snoop Dogg plays golf and has an 18 handicap. Found by Fred.

- When Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity, the New York Times sent their golf correspondent to cover the story. Henry Crouch reported the story, as he was in Britain covering The Open while Einstein was in Britain at the time. Although he had little understanding of the science behind the theory, his story was enthusiastic that those in the British press. Found by Holly.

- Golf players can suffer from golf ball liver. This is caused by golfers who give their balls a go-faster lick, which may result in being infected by weed-killers. Found by Holly.

- Golfer Tommy "Thunder" Bolt was once fined $250 for farting on the course while his opponent was attempting a putt. Successfully smuggled.

Fred MacAulay - Photography

- When Queen Victoria was photographed holding a baby, she was so scared of dropping the baby that a maid held instead and hid beneath Victoria's skirt. Victoria had lost almost all the strength in her arms in later life. Found by Mark.

- The bi-monthly Barbed Wire Magazine had a section in which couples would be photographed together with their collections, and are made "Prickly Pair of the Month". Found by Holly.

- In 1860, Queen Victoria became the first person to shorten the word "photograph" to "photo". Successfully smuggled.

- Winston Churchill looks so grumpy on the £5 note because photographer Yousef Karsh had taken away his cigar just before hand. Successfully smuggled.

- Visitors are not permitted to take flash photos of the log cabin Abraham Lincoln was born in for fear the lights will damage the wood. Successfully smuggled.


- Fred MacAulay: 4 points
- Holly Walsh: 3 points
- Tony Hawks: 0 points
- Mark Steel: -1 point

Broadcast details

Monday 30th October 2017
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Tony Hawks Guest
Fred MacAulay Guest
Holly Walsh Guest
Mark Steel Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Christine Rose 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?