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 on Monday at 9am.

Series 2, Episode 1

Phill Jupitus talks about bears, Tony Hawks looks at tennis, Alan Davies discusses bears and Simon Evans chats about Queen Victoria.

Further details

The Truths

Phill Jupitus - Bears

- Edinburgh Zoo got extra funding from Mercedes-Benz after they named Britain's only captive polar bear "Mercedes". Found by Simon.

- Grizzly bears cannot climb trees. Found by Alan.

- The panda bleats like a goat. Successfully smuggled.

- King Henry III imposed a muzzle tax on Londoners for the upkeep of a polar bear he kept in the Tower of London. Successfully smuggled.

- A Canadian man was acquitted of murder when he explained to the judge that he mistook his wife for a bear. Successfully smuggled.

Alan Davies - Beards

- The only Presidents of the USA to have had beards are Republicans. Found by Tony.

- Alexander the Great hated beards and banned them in his army, because he believed that the enemy could easily grab hold of them. Found by Phill.

- The beard can grow to a length of 30 feet. Found by Simon.

- Turkeys have beards. Successfully smuggled.

- Cleopatra wore a false beard. Successfully smuggled.

Simon Evans - Queen Victoria

- Victoria ate boiled eggs with a golden spoon out of a golden eggcup. Found by Phill.

- Victoria took marijuana to ease the pain of her menstrual cramps. Found by Phill.

- Prince Albert was Victoria's first cousin. Found by Tony.

- Victoria only spoke German up until the age of three. Successfully smuggled.

- At the time of her birth Victoria was only fifth in line to the throne. Successfully smuggled.

Tony Hawks - Tennis

- Lawn tennis was first marketed as "sphairistike" and patented by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield in 1874. Found by Simon.

- "Greg Rusedski" is an anagram of "Rugged kisser". Found by Alan.

- Sowing a tennis ball into the back of your pyjamas is believed to be a cure for snoring. Found by Alan.

- Austrian tennis player Hans Redl played at Wimbledon for nine years in a row despite losing an arm in World War Two. He served by tossing the ball in the air with his racket. Found by Phill.

- The catgut strings in rackets are actually made from sheep gut. Found by Simon.


- Phill Jupitus and Simon Evans: 4 points
- Alan Davies: 0 points
- Tony Hawks: -6 points

Broadcast details

Monday 5th May 2008
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Tony Hawks Guest
Alan Davies Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
Simon Evans Guest
Writing team
Iain Pattinson Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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