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

The Unbelievable Truth

BBC Radio 4 panel show built on truth and lies. 153 episodes (pilot + 25 series), 2006 - 2021. Stars David Mitchell.

Another series is in development.

Series 5, Episode 1

Lucy Porter, Henning Wehn, Marcus Brigstocke and Graeme Garden join David Mitchell for another edition of the panel game built on truth and lies. The topics are Sleep, Beer, Childbirth and Sir Isaac Newton.

Further details

The Truths

Marcus Brigstocke - Childbirth

- There have been cases of babies being born out of the rectum rather than the womb. Found by Lucy.

- The heaviest recorded newborn baby weighed 22lb 8oz. Found by Lucy.

- You can comfort a child by getting a large rhesus monkey to whoop at it. Successfully smuggled.

- Most babies cry in the key of A. Successfully smuggled.

- In Hungary there is a musical condom that plays the communist song "Arise ye worker". Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - Beer

- St. Brigid of Kildare could turn her used bathwater into beer. Found by Graeme.

- Henry VIII ordered that any servant who impregnated a maid had to go without beer for a month. Found by Lucy.

- There is a type of flea which only exists in German beer mats. Found by Graeme.

- In 1814 the London beer flood destroyed two houses and killed nine people. Successfully smuggled.

- Carlsberg Special Brew was created for Winston Churchill. Successfully smuggled.

Lucy Porter - Sleep

- The human is the only creature on Earth that can sleep on its back. Found by Marcus.

- Dolphins sleep with half of their bodies at a time, so that part of them is always awake and can keep an eye out for danger and need to come up for air. Found by Henning.

- Earwigs are so called because people feared that they burrowed into your brain via your ear while you slept. Found by Graeme.

- In 1900, a normal night's sleep was nine hours long. Successfully smuggled.

- W. C. Fields was a terrible insomniac and sometimes he could only get to sleep under a beach umbrella while being sprinkled with a garden hose. Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Sir Isaac Newton

- Newton dropped out of school early because his mother wanted him to be a farmer. Found by Marcus.

- Newton once saw an apple falling from a tree and he wondered about the force acting upon it. The apple did not hit him on the head. Found by Henning.

- It is claimed that Newton added the colour indigo to the rainbow because he believed that seven was a magic number. Found by Marcus.

- Newton invented the cat-flap. Successfully smuggled.

- The only speech Newton made during his career as an MP was to ask someone to close a window. Successfully smuggled.


- Lucy Porter: 4 points
- Henning Wehn: 2 points
- Graeme Garden: 1 point
- Marcus Brigstocke: 0 points

Broadcast details

Monday 29th March 2010
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Marcus Brigstocke Guest
Lucy Porter Guest
Henning Wehn Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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