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 1 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra on Monday at 9am.

Series 2, Episode 4

Phill Jupitus talks about bears, Tony Hawks looks at skateboards, Alan Davies discusses frogs and Simon Evans chats about William Shakespeare.

Further details

The Truths

Tony Hawks - Skateboards

- Half of all skateboarders live in California. Found by Alan.

- 21st June is a national holiday for skateboarding. Found by Simon.

- Skateboarding was banned in Norway between 1978-89. Found by Alan.

- When skateboarders push with their front foot rather than their back the term "mongo" is used. Successfully smuggled.

- When skateboarders simulate an image of Jesus Christ while in midair it is known as "Christair". Successfully smuggled.

Simon Evans - William Shakespeare

- There are twelve different signatures by Shakespeare, all of which are spelt differently. Found by Tony.

- Shakespeare was born in 1564 to illiterate parents. Found by Tony.

- In digital form, the size of all of Shakespeare's plays is the size of five megabytes, containing less information than a few album tracks. Found by Tony.

- Among the anachronisms in Shakespeare's plays is a chiming clock in Julius Caesar. Successfully smuggled.

- The cosmetics company Avon was originally established to sell Shakespeare's works door-to-door and gave cosmetics as a freebie. Later, they just went for cosmetics. Successfully smuggled.

Alan Davies - Frogs

- There are plagues of rats in Vietnamese jungles. Found by Simon. Accidentally included by Alan.

- More people have a phobia of frogs than rats. Found by Tony.

- It is possible to freeze and thaw certain frogs and they will remain alive. Found by Simon.

- When Escoffier first served frogs legs he called them "The Thighs of the Dawn Nymphs". Found by Phill.

- Frogs vomit by throwing up their stomachs and then cleaning them out with their arms. Found by Phill.

- The collective term for a group of frogs is an "army". Successfully smuggled.

Phill Jupitus - Bananas

- If you eat too many bananas you can attract mosquitoes. Found by Simon.

- The banana is a type of berry. Found by Alan.

- Bananas are a reindeer's favourite fruit. Successfully smuggled.

- The first bananas sold in the UK were sold in 1633. Successfully smuggled.

- At the World Banana Eating Championships in Estonia the winner ate 10 bananas in three minutes. Successfully smuggled.


- Simon Evans: 5 points
- Phill Jupitus: 3 points
- Alan Davies: 0 points
- Tony Hawks: -2 points


During Simon's lecture Mitchell claims that cricket did not exist in Shakespeare's time, but it did. This was corrected in an episode of QI.

Broadcast details

Monday 26th 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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