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 5 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra tomorrow at 9am.

Series 5, Episode 5

Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Phill Jupitus and Catherine Tate join David Mitchell to talk about ostriches, toast, spectacles and the colour red.

Further details

The Truths

Tony Hawks - Ostriches

- Ostriches can run at over 40mph. Found by Arthur.

- Ostriches in Namibia eat diamonds. Found by Arthur.

- Male ostriches can roar like a lion. Successfully smuggled.

- Pliny the Elder believed ostriches could hatch their eggs by looking at them aggressively. Successfully smuggled.

- Ostriches all yawn together in groups before going to sleep. Successfully smuggled.

Arthur Smith - Toast

- In 2001, British design student Robin Southgate designed a toaster which burned into the bread a depiction of what the weather was going to be like on the way to work. Found by Phill.

- In Mrs. Beaton's Book of Household Management there is a recipe for a toast sandwich, which consists of a piece of toast between two slices of bread. Found by Tony.

- The Museum of Burned Food in Arlington, Massachusetts exhibits 50,000 samples of burned food, including 2,000 in the Hall of Burned Toast. Successfully smuggled.

- A bolt of lightning has enough energy to cook 160,000 pieces of toast in one ten thousandth of a second. Successfully smuggled.

- A Berkshire man once sold a piece of toast on eBay which he claimed bore the face of Joe Pasquale. It sold for £500. Successfully smuggled.

Catherine Tate - Red

- Dogs are red/green colour blind. Found by Phill.

- Redheads have less hair than people with hair of different colours. Found by Tony.

- 62% of the top 100 richest men in the world are married to brunettes, 22% to blondes, 16% to raven-haired women, but none at all to redheads. Successfully smuggled.

- Research ha shown that redheads need 20% more anaesthetic to be put under during an operation. Successfully smuggled.

- Scientists in South Korea have manipulated the genes of a cat to make it glow red under ultraviolet light. Successfully smuggled.

Phill Jupitus - Spectacles

- American Jackson Andrews patented spectacles for chickens. Found by Tony.

- A Spanish bank robber in 1999 once took his glasses off as a disguise. During his getaway he tripped over the furniture and was caught by the police. Found by Arthur.

- In ancient China, judges wore dark glasses to hide their reactions from people in the courtroom. Successfully smuggled.

- Leonardo da Vinci invented contact lenses. Successfully smuggled.

- The spectacled flower pecker is a recently discovered bird, completely unique to science, found in the heart of the Borneo rainforest. Successfully smuggled.


- Catherine Tate: 4 points
- Phill Jupitus: 3 points
- Tony Hawks and Arthur Smith: 0 points

Broadcast details

Monday 26th April 2010
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

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

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