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 5, Episode 4

Lucy Porter, Henning Wehn, Marcus Brigstocke and Graeme Garden join David Mitchell for discussions about Soap, Pudding, Rabbits and the Taxi Cab.

Further details

The Truths

Marcus Brigstocke - Soap

- The Queen uses rose-scented soap. She also has a rubber duck with a crown on it. Found by Lucy.

- The French use half as much soap as the British. Found by Lucy.

- In the Middle East, adverts feature the cleaning power of soap have to display images in the reverse order because most people there read from right to left. Found by Henning.

- The most expensive bar of soap in the world uses sweet smelling fat from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Successfully smuggled.

- In Argentina a woman has made over 100 bars of soap and two sculptures from human fat used in soap. Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - Pudding

- Voltaire once said that: "English plays are like English puddings - no-one has any taste for them except themselves." Found by Marcus.

- In 1647, Oliver Cromwell banned plum pudding at Christmas. They also banned mince pies. Found by Marcus.

- A cocaine pudding was created in 1938. Found by Marcus.

- In 2005, two Scottish artists were banned from making black puddings out of their own blood by Edinburgh Environmental Health Office. Found by Graeme.

- Pilipino chocolate pudding is a stew of pigs' guts and in a rich pig gut sauce. Successfully smuggled.

Lucy Porter - Rabbits

- Male rabbits will try to castrate each other in order to win a mate. Found by Henning.

- Napoleon's most humiliating defeat was at the hands of rabbits. At a shooting party the organisers accidentally brought tame rabbits, and when released they thought Napoleon was going to feed them. Napoleon was thus overrun by them. Found by Henning.

- Beatrix Potter had a stuffed rabbit which she based her pictures of Peter Rabbit on. Found by Graeme.

- In the USA, the Broccoli Institute of American and the Utah Celery Company lobbied for Bugs Bunny to eat their foods instead of carrots. Found by Marcus.

- "Spain" literally means "The land of rabbits". Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Taxis

- The Romans had a form of taxi meter, fitted to the axel of a cart which released small wooden balls to indicate how far the cart had travelled. Found by Marcus.

- In 1914 a French general transported 6,000 troops from Paris to the Battle of the Marne in a fleet of taxis. Found by Marcus.

- In Massachusetts it is illegal for a taxi driver to make lover in the front seat of their cab while on duty. Found by Lucy.

- When taxis were first fitted with modern taxi meters, cab drivers in Stuttgart carried Wilhelm Bruhn through the streets and threw him in a river. Found by Henning.

- The name "Hackney carriage" comes from the French "haquenée", meaning an ambling horse or mare. Successfully smuggled.


- Marcus Brigstocke: 4 points
- Lucy Porter, Henning Wehn and Graeme Garden: 2 points

Broadcast details

Monday 19th April 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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