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

The Unbelievable Truth

  • Radio panel show
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2006 - 2024
  • 177 episodes (29 series)

David Mitchell hosts this Radio 4 panel game built on truth and lies. Contestants must try and smuggle truths into lie-filled speeches.

Episode menu

Series 20, Episode 4

John Finnemore, Henning Wehn, Lou Sanders and Graeme Garden are the panellists joining David Mitchell who are obliged to talk with deliberate inaccuracy on subjects as varied as The Rolling Stones, vegetarianism, eggs and Harry Potter.

The Truths

John Finnemore - The Rolling Stones

- The Rolling Stones wrote music for a Rice Krispies jingle. In 1964, they wrote a jingle that went: "Wake up in the morning, there's a snap around the place. Wake up in the morning, there's a crackle in your face. Wake up in the morning, there's a pop that really says 'Rice Krispies for you, and you, and you.'" Found by Graeme.

- Mick Jagger is a fan of ballet, and practices it as part of his training regime. Found by Lou.

- Part of Keith Richards's rider is to have shepherd's pie. Found by Henning.

- Bill Wyman was only asked to join the band because he owned an amplifier. When he first went to rehearse with the band in 1962 he took with him a spare amp and a big bass cabinet. The amp was the big draw as the band liked, "the more powerful, more electric sound." Found by Henning.

- Keith Richard's son Marlon's first words were, "room service". He grew up on tour, and claims he learned to count by pushing on buttons in hotel elevators. Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - Vegetarianism

- After the Russian Revolution, the word "vegetarian" was removed from dictionaries. The practice of vegetarianism was essentially banned by the government. Found by John.

- Vegans have higher IQs on average. Male vegans and vegetarians have an average IQ of 106, compared to 101 for non-vegetarians. Female vegans and vegetarians have an average of 104 compared to 99 for non vegetarians. Successfully smuggled.

- The singer Meatloaf was a vegetarian between 1981 and 1992. Successfully smuggled.

- Early in the 20th century, English schoolmasters recommended that students should become vegetarian in order to avoid self-abuse. Successfully smuggled.

- The Yorkshire village of Fryup rejected an offer by PETA to change its name to Vegan Fryup for World Vegan Day. Successfully smuggled.

Lou Sanders - Eggs

- Male and female pigeons take it in turns to roost on their eggs. Found by Henning.

- Virgin boy's eggs are a traditional dish from China, in which eggs are cooked in boy's urine. In the city of Dongyang, hen's eggs are cooked in urine that is collected from boy's only primary schools. After boiling the shells are cracked and the eggs are put back into fresh urine, repeating the process. The entire cooking process normally takes a day. Locals claim the eggs prevent heatstroke. Found by John.

- In 2011, a 61-year-old woman gave birth to her won grandson when the baby was conceived with an egg donated by her 35-year-old daughter, who had been trying for years to have a baby but failed. Found by Henning.

- The Beatles song "Yesterday" was originally called "Scrambled Eggs". The song came to Paul McCartney in his sleep, explaining in 1980: "I woke up with a lovely tune in my head." Keen not to forget the tune, he wrote down some temporary lyrics. The song originally began: "Scrambled eggs, oh my baby how I love your legs." Found by John.

- Fake chicken eggs are a problem in China. They first appeared in the mid-1990s and production spread across the country. The fake eggs are made out a mixture of resin, coagulant and starch, complete with pigment for colour and a counterfeit shell. One person can make 1,500 per day. Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Harry Potter

- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the longest published worked translated into Ancient Greek since the 3rd century. Found by John.

- The Harry Potter books are among the most banned and censored books in the USA. There have been mainly censored by Christian religious groups who claim they are Satanic, and some Pentecostal groups have even burned the books. Found by John.

- Mattel once produced a vibrating toy version of Harry's Nimbus 2000 broomstick, which had to be withdrawn from sale. One mother from New Jersey said that her 12-year-old daughter played with the broomstick for hours, as did her 17-year-old sister. Found by Lou.

- Durham University has a module in Harry Potter studies. Around 70 undergraduates signed up to the module entitled: "Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion" when it was offered as part of the education studies BA degree. The module required undergraduates to set the series, "in its social, cultural and educational context, and understand some of the reasons for its popularity." Found by Lou.

- The baby in the last Harry Potter film earned £40 for his role, which wouldn't have covered the cost of two tickets to see the film in IMAX 3D cinemas. Toby Papworth appears on camera four times, features in worldwide trailers for the film that has grossed over $1billion at the box office, and his name is in the credits. His mum Ashley says: "It seems a bit mean. That said, we had a great day." Successfully smuggled.


- John Finnemore: 6 points
- Henning Wehn: 3 points
- Lou Sanders and Graeme Garden: -2 points

Broadcast details

Monday 23rd April 2018
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 29th April 2018 12:00pm Radio 4
Monday 30th April 2018 7:30am Radio 4 Extra
Monday 30th April 2018 5:30pm Radio 4 Extra
Monday 30th April 2018 10:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Tuesday 1st May 2018 5:30am Radio 4 Extra
Thursday 21st July 2022 9:00am Radio 4 Extra
Thursday 21st July 2022 4:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Friday 22nd July 2022 4:00am Radio 4 Extra

Cast & crew

David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Henning Wehn Guest
John Finnemore Guest
Lou Sanders Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Richard Turner Producer

Share this page