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

Series 3, Episode 5

Sue Perkins talks about Henry VIII, Arthur Smith looks at cockroaches, Sean Lock discusses dancing and Miranda Hart chats about cricket.

Further details

The Truths

Sue Perkins - Henry VIII

- Henry VIII was the first English king to eat turkey at Christmas. Found by Arthur.

- Henry VIII employed a man to wipe his bottom. Found by Arthur.

- When Henry VIII first saw how ugly Anne of Cleves was he asked if his courtiers if they had actually brought him a horse. Found by Sean.

- Henry VIII's codpiece is the largest in the Tower of London. Found by Arthur.

- Henry VIII was the first English king to be addressed as "Your majesty" instead of "Your highness" or "Your grace". Successfully smuggled.

Arthur Smith - Cockroaches

- Cockroaches fart every 15 minutes. Insect flatulence is believed to make a fifth of all emissions on the planet. Found by Sean.

- Female cockroaches prefer males which are bottom of social pecking order. Found by Miranda.

- If a cockroach was human-sized it could run 100m in a second. Successfully smuggled.

- Cockroaches have 18 knees. Successfully smuggled.

- The only vegetable that cockroaches will not eat is the cucumber. Successfully smuggled.

Sean Lock - Dancing

- In the original version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the wicked queen was forced to dance herself to death in red-hot iron shoes. Found by Sue.

- In Montana it is illegal for a woman to dance on a table unless she is wearing 3lb 2oz of clothing. Found by Arthur.

- Bruce Lee was Hong Kong cha-cha-cha champion in 1958. Successfully smuggled.

- Cows are an essential part of the Moscow State Circus. Successfully smuggled.

- In Colombia, if a guajiro woman is successful in tripping over a man in a ceremonial dance he is obliged to have sex with her. Successfully smuggled.

Miranda Hart - Cricket

- The Admiralty Islanders of the Pacific make their cricket bats out of the wood of a tree grown from the artificial leg of the missionary who first introduced the game. Found by Sue.

- In 1796 a team of one-legged cricketers defeated a team of one-armed cricketers by 103 runs, but the one-armed team were unhappy because the official scorer was one of the one-legged party. Found by Arthur.

- Australian rules football was invented to give Australian cricket players something to due when the cricket season was over. Found by Sean.

- During the Edwardian era, women cricketers played with blue balls for fear that the red ones would over-excite them. Found by Sue.

- Sometimes Prince Philip hides a radio in his top hat when he goes to Ascot so that he can instead listen to the cricket. Successfully smuggled.


- Arthur Smith: 7 points
- Sean Lock: 0 points
- Miranda Hart: -1 point
- Sue Perkins: -4 points

Broadcast details

Monday 20th April 2009
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Sean Lock Guest
Arthur Smith Guest
Sue Perkins Guest
Miranda Hart Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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