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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.

  • Due to return for Series 30


Episode menu

Series 29, Episode 5

David Mitchell is joined by guests Lou Sanders, Phil Wang, Neil Delamere and Kerry Godliman who are obliged to talk with deliberate inaccuracy on subjects as varied as accidents, chefs, the Greeks, and pipes.

The Truths

Phil Wang - Chefs

- Jamie Oliver has customised his Land Rover Discovery so it can slow roast lamb under the bonnet, and it can make butter or ice cream in the wheel drums. Found by Kerry.

- In China, you can order British takeaway food. Found by Lou. Accidentally included by Phil.

- In Japan, a chef cooked and served his own penis and testicles. In 2012, Mao Sugiyama, who identifies as asexual and who had already had his genitalia surgically removed, charged $250 a plate. Five people accepted the offer, with the diners saying the genitalia were very rubbery and tasted of very little. Found by Kerry.

- An anagram of "Gordon Ramsay" is "So angry or mad". Another is "Sad Roman orgy". "Heston Blumenthal" is an anagram of "The nonlethal bums" and "Hell bent moth anus". Successfully smuggled.

- It is believed in Japan that women cannot be sushi chefs on the grounds that their hands are too warm. Successfully smuggled.

- Chickens in California have their own personal chefs. Successfully smuggled.

Kerry Godliman - Pipes

- Bagpipes are one of the two national musical instruments of England. The Northumbrian bagpipes are blown via a bellows. The other national instrument of England is the English concertina. Found by Neil.

- Ferrets have been trained to carry wires through pipes too small or complicated for humans to navigate. Found by Neil.

- The "asspipe" or "arsepipe" is a musical instrument from the British Virgin Islands. It is made from a car exhaust pipe and played like a tuba. Successfully smuggled.

- People used to carry around pocket pipe organs in the 13th and 14th centuries. Successfully smuggled.

- The second-largest residential pipe organ is in the screening room of the Playboy Mansion. Successfully smuggled.

Lou Sanders - Accidents

- There are 300 banana-related accidents in Britain every year, mostly from people slipping on the skins. Found by Kerry.

- A camel once accidentally shot its owner. Called Harry, it was the first camel in Australia and he shot the explorer John Horrocks. As Horrocks was about to shoot a bird, Harry nudged Horrocks, causing the gun to discharge into Horrocks's face. Horrocks died a few days later, having given specific instructions for Harry to be executed. Found by Neil.

- 70-year-old Terry Brazier received £20,000 from the NHS after his local hospital circumcised him by accident. He had originally gone in for routine bladder treatment. Found by Phil.

- An elephant called Bimbo received compensation after she was involved in a car accident which resulted in her completely forgetting how to water-ski. Successfully smuggled.

- A man in North Carolina had his TV service cut off when he refused to pay for pay-per-view porn, claiming that his dog had accidentally ordered it by sitting on the remote control. Successfully smuggled.

Neil Delamere - The Greeks

- The Ancient Greeks played with yo-yos. A 5th century BC Greek vase contains the earliest known depiction of a yo-yo. Found by Lou.

- Poor Greeks put money in their mouths because their clothes had no pockets. People were also buried with coins in their mouths so they could pay Charon the ferryman to ship them across the River Styx to the Underworld. Found by Kerry.

- The Greek national anthem is 158 verses long, making it the longest in the world. However, as only the first two verses are normally sung, Uruguay claim that their anthem is long as it takes six minutes to sing. Successfully smuggled.

- On the island of Chios, it was once obligatory for the other 60s to commit suicide by drinking hemlock. Successfully smuggled.

- The world's first railway was built in Greece in 550 BC. Successfully smuggled.


- Neil Delamere and Phil Wang: 1 point
- Kerry Godliman: -1 point
- Lou Sanders: -6 points

Broadcast details

Monday 26th June 2023
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


Cast & crew

David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Lou Sanders Guest
Phil Wang Guest
Neil Delamere Guest
Kerry Godliman Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer
Graeme Garden Creator
Jon Naismith Creator

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