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

The Unbelievable Truth

BBC Radio 4 panel show built on truth and lies. 141 episodes (pilot + 23 series), 2006 - 2020. Stars David Mitchell.

Another series is in development.
Series 16, Episode 4 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra on Monday at 9am.

Series 2, Episode 3

Tim Vine talks about hedgehogs, Adam Buxton looks at hair, Ed Byrne discusses kissing and Lee Mack chats about potatoes.

Further details

The Truths

Tim Vine - Hedgehogs

- Hedgehogs taste like pork. Found by Lee.

- Hedgehogs wash by spitting on themselves. Found by Adam.

- When a hedgehog is run over, their entrails are fired out of their mouth and anus. Found be Lee.

- Hedgehogs have fingerprints which are closer to human fingerprints than any other animal. Successfully smuggled.

- If you remove a hedgehogs flees, it will die. Successfully smuggled (but since proven to be untrue. See notes).

Adam Buxton - Hair

- Honey bees have hair on their eyes. Found by Ed.

- You would not be allowed to enter Disney if you were man with hair considered too long. Found by Tim.

- The average person grows two metres of nostril hair in a lifetime. Found by Ed.

- The shape of the hairstyle is due to the shape of the hair follicles. Found by Ed.

- The word "dasypygal" means "to have a hairy bottom". Successfully smuggled.

Ed Byrne - Kissing

- The Romans had different words for different kinds of kissing. Found by Lee.

- In Logan County, Colorado, it is illegal for a man to kiss a woman if she is asleep. Found by Lee.

- The first interracial kiss on screen was between William Shatner and Michelle Nichols in a 1968 episode of Star Trek. Found by Tim.

- The longest kiss in the world was for 31 hours, 18 mutes and 33 seconds in a competition in New York starting on Valentines Day 2004. Found by Tim.

- In the Middle Ages, kissing was declared a mortal sin by the Catholic Church. Successfully smuggled.

Lee Mack - Potatoes

- In the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, dried potatoes were used to look like snowflakes. Found by Adam.

- Until the late 18th century, the French believed that potatoes caused leprosy. Found by Ed.

- Apples, onions and potatoes all taste the same. To prove it, if you bite into them while holding your nose, it will taste sweet. Found by Adam.

- Potatoes were not introduced into Britain by Sir Walter Raleigh. Found by Ed. Accidentally included by Lee.

- Potatoes contain more chromosomes than people. They have 48, humans have 46. Found by Ed.

- In slang, a coach potato's wife is called a "coach tomato". It can also mean a coach potato with red hair. Successfully smuggled.


- Adam Buxton and Tim Vine: 2 points
- Ed Byrne and Lee Mack: 1 point


The fact about removing a hedgehogs fleas was later revealed to be untrue on an episode of QI.

Broadcast details

Monday 19th May 2008
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Adam Buxton Guest
Ed Byrne Guest
Lee Mack Guest
Tim Vine Guest
Writing team
Iain Pattinson Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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