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

The Unbelievable Truth

BBC Radio 4 panel show built on truth and lies. 135 episodes (pilot + 22 series), 2006 - 2019. Stars David Mitchell.

Another series is in development.

Series 3, Episode 3

Graeme Garden talks about China, Chris Addison looks at the postal service, Clive Anderson discusses the Moon and Lucy Porter chats about moustaches.

Further details

The Unbelievable Truth. Image shows from L to R: Lucy Porter, Clive Anderson, David Mitchell, Chris Addison, Graeme Garden. Copyright: BBC / Random Entertainment.

The Truths

Graeme Garden - China (the country)

- It is believed Marco Polo brought the recipe for pasta from China to Italy. Found by Clive.

- The Chinese invented toilet paper. The sheets used by the first emperor to use them were 2 feet by 3 feet in size. Found by Lucy.

- The advertising slogan "Come alive with Pepsi" was translated into Chinese as "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave." Found by Lucy.

- If you crossed the boarder from China into Afghanistan you would lose three-and-a-half hours, because all of China is in one time zone. Found by Chris.

- In Ancient Chinese culture it was common to use the lining of a cats stomach as a condom. Successfully smuggled.

Chris Addison - The Postal Service

- Post is traditionally not delivered on a Sunday. Found by Graeme. Accidentally included by Chris.

- Equatorial Guinea was the first country to put flying saucers on its stamps. Found by Clive.

- The USA has stopped the posting of children. Found by Graeme.

- An Iraqi terrorist blew himself up after a letter bomb he posted did not have enough stamps. The bomb was returned, and forgetting he sent it, he opened it and he died. Successfully smuggled.

- The Kingdom of Bhutan issued a stamp which was actually a small record which played the Bhutanese national anthem. Successfully smuggled.

- Tonga once issued a stamp in the shape of a banana. Successfully smuggled.

Lucy Porter - Moustaches

- The Navaho Indians nickname for Adolf Hitler translates as, "He smells his moustache." Found by Chris.

- In the original novel, Dracula had a moustache. Found by Graeme.

- In Alabama it is illegal to grow a moustache which causes laughter in church. Found by Chris.

- Ainu girls in Japan often added a tattoo of a moustache on their upper lip in the belief it made them more attractive. Successfully smuggled.

- At least two opera singers have been known to have accidentally swallowed their false moustaches whilst singing. Successfully smuggled.

Clive Anderson - The Moon

- If the Earth were the size of an orange, the Moon would be the size of a cherry. Found by Chris.

- Erasmus Darwin, James Watt and Josiah Wedgwood were all members of the Lunar Society, a dining club which met under a full moon. Members were known as "lunatics". Found by Chris.

- There are three golf balls on the Moon. Found by Chris.

- When the Apollo 12 astronauts landed on the Moon in 1969 the surface vibrated for very nearly an hour. Successfully smuggled.

- The Moon is shaped like an egg. Successfully smuggled.


- Chris Addison: 8 points
- Clive Anderson: 3 points
- Lucy Porter and Graeme Garden: -2 points

Broadcast details

Monday 6th April 2009
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes


    Cast & crew

    Regular cast
    David Mitchell Host / Presenter
    Guest cast
    Graeme Garden Guest
    Clive Anderson Guest
    Lucy Porter Guest
    Chris Addison Guest
    Writing team
    Dan Gaster Writer
    Production team
    Jon Naismith Producer

    Supporters and subscribers get more

    Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

    • Broadcast details of 3 past repeats of this episode

    Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

    Already a donor or Pro user?