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

Series 4, Episode 3

Tony Hawks talks about teeth, Arthur Smith looks at underpants, Phill Jupitus discusses the Vikings and Graeme Garden chats about Birmingham.

Further details

The Truths

Tony Hawks - Teeth

- Mao Zedong never brushed his teeth claimed that tigers never did so. Found by Graeme.

- Radium was once used in the making of false teeth. Found by Phill.

- Cheryl Crow has false teeth. She claims her teeth were knocked out by a waitress with a beer mug. Found by Phill.

- James Dean used to scare his fans away by taking out his false teeth. Found by Arthur.

- In Louisiana biting someone with natural teeth is considered is simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth is aggravated assault. Found by Arthur.

Arthur Smith - Underpants

- In 19th century England women referred to underpants as "inexpressible" or "a pair of dittos". Found by Phill.

- 85% of men do not open their flies when urinating. They just pull their trousers down. Found by Tony.

- Married men change their pants twice as often as single men. Found by Phill.

- In Minnesota it is illegal for men's and women's underwear to be hung on the same washing line. Found by Tony.

Phill Jupitus - The Vikings

- There have been many great civilizations in history. Found by Graeme. Accidentally included by Phill.

- Eric the Red gave "Greenland" its name so as to attract people to the place which was in fact very cold and icy. Found by Tony.

- Vikings used ravens for navigation. Ravens cannot land on water so make their way to dry land. Found by Graeme.

- The Vikings can claim to have begun the custom of getting drunk and taking your shirt off before having a fight, because Vikings fought stripped to the waist and drunk ale before a fight. Successfully smuggled.

- Ullr was the Viking god of snow-based footwear. Successfully smuggled.

- Without the Vikings there would be no Elvis, because the name "Elvis" comes from the Old Norse meaning "All wise". Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Birmingham

- There is a crater on the Moon called "Birmingham". It is not named after the city, but after the Irish astronomer John Birmingham. Found by Arthur.

- Erasmus Darwin founded the Lunar Society in Birmingham. Found by Tony.

- In Birmingham you can be fined £25 if you have sex on church steps after sundown. Found by Phill.

- J.R.R. Tolkien took the name for one of his Lord of the Rings hobbits from Birmingham surgeon and inventor of cotton wool Dr. Samson Gamgee. Successfully smuggled.

- One enterprising Birmingham grocer called his tea "Typhoo Tea". Successfully smuggled.


- Phill Jupitus and Graeme Garden: 4 points
- Tony Hawks: 0 points
- Arthur Smith: -1 point

Broadcast details

Monday 19th October 2009
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Tony Hawks Guest
Phill Jupitus Guest
Arthur Smith Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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