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 24, Episode 5

David Mitchell is joined by Henning Wehn, Lou Sanders, Sindhu Vee and Neil Delamere as they lie on the subjects of guns, magic, berries and crocodiles.

The Truths

Henning Wehn - Guns

- The Crusader is a US assault rifle designed especially for Christians. From Florida, the rifle is engraved with the cross of the Knights Templar and Psalm 144:1: "Praise be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle." It has three settings: "Peace", which has the safety on; "War", for single shots; and "God wills it", which is fully automatic. The manufactures claim this will keep the guns out of the hands of Muslim terrorists. Muslim groups have denounced it as fermenting hatred, division and violence. Found by Sindhu.

- At the time of George I, a man named James Puckle invented a gun that would fire round bullets at Christians and square bullets at Muslims, based on the belief that square bullets would inflict more pain and would help promote the benefits of Christian civilization. Invented in 1718, the Puckle gun was the world's first machine gun. Found by Sindhu.

- The Krummlauf was a German gun that shot around corners. It has a curved barrel and periscope sights. The gun was unsuccessful as the curved barrel quickly wore out. Found by Neil.

- Donald Trump's golf bag contains high-powered rifles along with clubs. Successfully smuggled.

- The Germans invented a gun that fired mostly fresh air. The gun contained hydrogen and ammonia and fired shells of compressed air. The Nazis hoped they would create whirlwinds to damage planes, but during tests they had no effect. Successfully smuggled.

Lou Sanders - Magic

- Early magic tricks were known as "hanky panky". It relates to the term "hocus pocus". Found by Sindhu.

- In 1970s Nigeria, a number of people were arrested for stealing penises using magic. Found by Sindhu.

- There are houses in Vermont that has windows slanted diagonally to stop witches from flying into the house. Found by Henning.

- Early Christian pictures of Jesus show him performing miracles while holding a wand. However, the Bible does not take kindly to magic and has no mention of wands. Successfully smuggled.

- The word "abracadabra" was used to protect people from the plague. Successfully smuggled.

Sindhu Vee - Berries

- Pineberries taste like pineapples. Found by Neil.

- An orange is a berry, but a strawberry ain't. Botanically speaking, a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary with three distinct layers: the exocarp (outer skin), mesocarp (fleshy middle) and endocarp (inner-most part that holds the seeds). Thus oranges, grapes, bananas, aubergines, kiwis, tomatoes and watermelons are berries. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and mulberries are not berries. All of this really annoys David. Found by Henning.

- Blueberry juice enhances your memory. Found by Lou.

- The Milky Way tastes like raspberries. A chemical that used to flavour some drinks can be found in a dust cloud in the centre of the galaxy, which has a rum-like odour and the flavour of raspberries. Successfully smuggled.

- When ripe, cranberries will bounce seven times. They are often referred to as bounceberries. Successfully smuggled.

Neil Delamere - Crocodiles

- In 2010, the archbishop of New Orleans officially approved alligators as seafood, meaning that Catholics can eat them during Lent. Found by Henning.

- The world's largest known crocodile and the world's smallest man both live on the same island. Mindanao in the Philippines is home to the world's largest crocodile, measuring at 20.24 feet, as well as the home of Junrey Balawing who is 23.6 inches tall. Successfully smuggled.

- It takes one alligator to make a pair of shoes, and three to make a pair of boots. Only the skin from the belly of the animal is used. Successfully smuggled.

- Alligators are aroused by the note B flat. Successfully smuggled.

- Come the heron nesting season, alligators in Louisiana balance sticks on their snouts. The alligator will grab any bird that tries to take a twig. It is the first recorded case of reptiles using tools, and the first case of predators timing the use of lures according to the seasonal behaviour of their pray. Successfully smuggled.


- Neil Delamere: 2 points
- Sindhu Vee: 1 point
- Henning Wehn: -1 point
- Lou Sanders: -3 points

Broadcast details

Monday 13th July 2020
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Sunday 19th July 2020 12:00pm Radio 4
Monday 20th July 2020 7:30am Radio 4 Extra
Monday 20th July 2020 5:30pm Radio 4 Extra
Monday 20th July 2020 10:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Tuesday 21st July 2020 5:30am Radio 4 Extra
Thursday 30th November 2023 9:00am Radio 4 Extra
Thursday 30th November 2023 2:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Thursday 30th November 2023 7:00pm Radio 4 Extra
Friday 1st December 2023 4:00am Radio 4 Extra

Cast & crew

David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Henning Wehn Guest
Lou Sanders Guest
Sindhu Vee Guest
Neil Delamere Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

Share this page