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 6, Episode 3

David Mitchell hosts an edition of the game show recorded at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe, with panellists Rhod Gilbert, Kevin Bridges, Tom Wrigglesworth and Lucy Porter. The contestants are encouraged to talk with deliberate inaccuracy on subjects as varied as spiders, mushrooms, eggs and Edinburgh.

Further details

The Truths

Rhod Gilbert - Spiders

- If a spider weaved silk across a railway track it would delay a train. Found by Tom. Accidentally included by Rhod.

- If a spider's thread was as thick as a pencil it could stop a Boeing 747 in full flight. Found by Tom.

- Jumping spiders can reach a height of 22,000 feet because they live in the Himalayas. Found by Tom.

- Dr. Thomas Muffet was an Elizabethan entomologist. Some believe that one of his two daughters was the original Little Miss Muffet. Successfully smuggled.

- The fangs of the Venezuelan goliath bird-eating tarantula are used as toothpicks by local tribes. Successfully smuggled.

- Harrison Ford has a spider named after him. Successfully smuggled.

Tom Wrigglesworth - Mushrooms

- The Egyptians believed that mushrooms were the sons of gods sent to Earth by lightning bolts. Found by Rhod.

- Mushrooms are used to make fake vomit in movies. It is mixed with stuffing and cream. Found by Rhod.

- You can hear lady-in-the-veil mushrooms grow in China. Found by Rhod.

- The first submarine, The Turtle used glow-in-the-dark mushrooms to provide light, because using candles used up oxygen. The mushroom idea was suggested by Benjamin Franklin during the American War of Independence. Found by Rhod.

- The largest living thing is a mushroom. It is 3.5 miles across and covers approximately 2,200 acres. Successfully smuggled.

Lucy Porter - Eggs

- St. Kevin held open his hand for a blackbird to lay an egg. He kept it open until the egg hatched. Found by Rhod.

- Kiwis lay eggs ten times bigger than those of a hen. Found by Tom.

- Clowns copyright their face make-up by painting it on an egg. When the clown dies the egg is smashed. Found by Tom.

- Queen Victoria ate her eggs from a golden eggcup with a gold spoon. Successfully smuggled.

-All the female human eggs needed to produce the next generation of humans could be contained within the shell of a chicken's egg. Successfully smuggled.

Kevin Bridges - Edinburgh

- Edinburgh zoo was home to Britain's only polar bear. Found by Tom.

- Researchers at the University of Edinburgh claim to be able to turn peanut butter into diamonds. This is because they are both made out of carbon. Found by Rhod.

- Edinburgh has four universities and ten colleges. Successfully smuggled.

- Edinburgh once gave the freedom of the city to a dog. The dog was Greyfriars Bobby, who famously sat by the grave of his dead owner and never left his side for 14 years. Successfully smuggled.

- In the 1700s as the result of a local butcher's dog going mad, Edinburgh magistrates ordered the slaughter of all dogs. Successfully smuggled.


- Tom Wrigglesworth: 4 points
- Rhod Gilbert and Kevin Bridges: -1 point
- Lucy Porter: -3 points

Broadcast details

Monday 11th October 2010
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Lucy Porter Guest
Rhod Gilbert Guest
Kevin Bridges Guest
Tom Wrigglesworth Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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