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 4, Episode 5

Clive Anderson talks about tobacco, Henning Wehn looks at sausages, Fi Glover discusses frogs and Dom Joly chats about Elvis Presley.

Further details

The Truths

Clive Anderson - Tobacco

- Native Americans smoked tobacco up their noses using a pipe with two nostril holes. Found by Fi.

- The Dutch used tobacco to as an anti-plague remedy. Found by Dom.

- When Pablo Picasso was born the midwife thought he was stillborn and abandoned him on a table, but Picasso's uncle, who was a doctor, realised he was still alive and revived him puffing cigar smoke into his lungs. Found by Dom.

- Sit Walter Raleigh once financed a trip to America by winning a bet with Elizabeth I that he could weigh the weight of smoke. Successfully smuggled.

- Prince Philip gave up smoking on the morning he got married to the then Princess Elizabeth. Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - Sausages

- The British Sausage Appreciation Society has more than 7,000 members. Found by Dom.

- Sausages are called "bangers" because during the Second Word War sausages had so much water in them they would bang when fried. Found by Fi.

- In parts of tropical Africa there is a "Sausage tree" which grows sausage-shaped fruit. Found by Clive.

- From 1939-40 the Soviet Union and Finland fought the Sausage War during which hungry Russians overran a Finnish kitchen, filled up on sausages and refused to fight. Successfully smuggled.

- The world's longest sausage was made in Britain in the year 2000. It weighed 15.5 tonnes and was 35 miles long. Successfully smuggled.

Fi Glover - Frogs

- The American tree frog cries "Crock-key", but the male can only hear the first part and the female can only hear the second. Found by Clive.

- In Memphis, Tennessee it is illegal for frogs to croak after 11pm. Successfully smuggled.

- Kermit the Frog is left-handed. Successfully smuggled.

- When a frog throws up it brings up their whole stomach, then it digs out the contents with its hands. Successfully smuggled.

- Frogs do not drink. They absorb water through their skin. Successfully smuggled.

Dom Joly - Elvis Presley

- Elvis referred to his manhood as "Little Elvis". Found by Clive.

- Following his first appearance on stage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, Elvis was told he would make a better lorry driver than a singer. Successfully smuggled.

- Elvis is related to every American president except Barack Obama. It similarly means that all of the American presidents except Obama are related to each other. Successfully smuggled.

- It is said that Elvis once entered an Elvis look-alike competition in a burger bar and came third. Successfully smuggled.

- Elvis liked to spend his time hanging around his local morgue looking at corpses. Successfully smuggled.


- Dom Joly: 4 points
- Fi Glover and Clive Anders: 3 points
- Henning Wehn: -1 point

Broadcast details

Monday 2nd November 2009
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Clive Anderson Guest
Fi Glover Guest
Dom Joly Guest
Henning Wehn Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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