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

Series 23, Episode 2

David Mitchell is joined by Susan Calman, Graeme Garden, Sindhu Vee and Lloyd Langford as they lie on the subjects of cheese, Winston Churchill, flowers and rappers.

Further details

The Truths

Sindhu Vee - Flowers

- Bill Clinton is allergic to flowers, as well as to cats and cigarette smoke. Found by Susan.

- In the 1500s brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide her body odour. During this time, bathing, in particular for women, was rare. Christian clergy condemned bathing, associating it with the sins of pride and vanity. Found by Lloyd.

- Broccoli is a type of flower. Found by Lloyd.

- Viagra tablets can help flowers to live longer. Australian scientists discovered that Viagra can double the shelf life of cut flowers. The tablets contain nitric oxide, is slows down the dying process in plants. The same substance is also what causes the muscles in a man's penis to relax and allow it to become erect. Found by Graeme.

- Bumblebees open flowers by buzzing in the note of middle C. Found by Lloyd.

Lloyd Langford - Rappers

- Snoop Dog and Buzz Aldrin recorded a rap together called Rocket Experience, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Moon landings. Found by Sindhu.

- Beneath M&M's (rather than Eminem's) brittle exterior lies some incredibly tasty chocolate and roasted peanut. Found by Graeme. Accidently included by Lloyd.

- Eminem has a fear of owls, as well as giraffes. Found by Graeme.

- Chas and Dave play guitar and bass on Eminem's My Name Is. As session musicians they appeared on Labi Siffre's 1975 single I Got The..., which Eminem sampled for his song. I Got The... was also sampled by other rappers, meaning that Chas and Dave also appear on tracks by Jay-Z, Method Man, RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan. Found by Sindhu.

- In 2011, a woman filed a $1trillion lawsuit against P. Diddy, claiming he caused 9/11. Successfully smuggled.

- Staff and police once had to break up a fight between Sky Blu and politician Mitt Romney on a flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Successfully smuggled.

Susan Calman - Cheese

- Blue Stilton cheese has never been made in the town of Stilton. Found by Sindhu.

- In 2013, nine American baby boys were given the name "Cheese". Found by Lloyd.

- In Germany, there is a cheese flavoured with dust mite excrement. The excrement contains an enzyme that causes the cheese to ripen. Found by Lloyd.

- A North Yorkshire biogas plant converts left-over whey from the nearby Wensleydale creamery to produce 10,000 megawatt hours of thermal power, enough to heat 800 homes per year. Successfully smuggled.

- American cheese is not cheese, legally speaking. It must be called: "pasteurised cheese product" or "processed cheese food". Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Winston Churchill

- Churchill released two albums of speeches which entered the UK Top 40 Album Charts. Found by Lloyd.

- Churchill once took cocaine with Queen Victoria. In Victorian times drug use was uncontrolled, and Victoria enjoyed cocaine-infused chewing gum, which she once shared with Churchill when he was a guest at Balmoral. Found by Susan.

- In the early 1930s, Churchill wrote two film scripts for British director Alexander Korda, paying him £10,000. One was a feature about George III. Neither script was adapted for the screen. Found by Susan.

- After delivering his "We shall fight them on the beaches" speech, with the broadcast over Churchill then whispered to a colleague: "And we fight them with the butt-ends of broken beer bottles, because that's all we've bloody got." Successfully smuggled.

- Churchill's funeral was codenamed: "Hope not". Operation Hope Not was the codename for a plan for his funeral, which was started in 1953 after Churchill had a major stroke. However, he lived for another 12 years, leading Lord Mountbatten to remark that Churchill: "kept living, and the pallbearers kept dying." Successfully smuggled.


- Graeme Garden and Lloyd Langford: 3 points
- Sindhu Vee: 0 points
- Susan Calman: -2 points

Broadcast details

Monday 6th January 2020
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Susan Calman Guest
Lloyd Langford Guest
Sindhu Vee Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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