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 6, Episode 5

David Mitchell hosts the game show in which panellists Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Henning Wehn and Graeme Garden are encouraged to tell lies on topics including noses, apples, fishing and Lord Byron, in a bid to smuggle as many items of truth as possible past their opponents.

Further details

The Truths

Tony Hawks - Noses

- A common nose style that men have when having nose-jobs is based on the nose of Jamie Theakston. Found by Graeme.

- Buttons on sleeves were designed so that people could not wipe their nose on their sleeves. Found by Henning.

- Slugs have four noses. Found by Graeme.

- In Somalia it is illegal to carry old chewing gum stuck to the end of your nose. Successfully smuggled.

- People who live in the city have longer nose hair than people in the country, to filter out the more polluted air. Successfully smuggled.

Henning Wehn - Apples

- In Ancient Greece people proposed marriage by throwing apples. If you caught the apple, you got married. Found by Tony.

- Because apples are good at quenching thirst, Vikings took apples on their raids and longboats. Found by Tony. Henning then repeats the same fact as he tried to warm up for his lecture and Graeme gets a point for spotting it again.

- Apple sauce was the first food eaten in space, in 1962. Found by Tony.

- In 1996 Ringo Starr did a Japanese advert for apple sauce as his name "Ringo" means "apple" in Japanese. Successfully smuggled.

- Apples are better for waking you up in the morning than caffeine because of the glucose in them. Successfully smuggled.

Arthur Smith - Lord Byron

- Byron liked to serve wine in a skull he found in the cloisters of his home. Found by Tony.

- Byron had a bear at Cambridge University as a way to get around rules about him not being allowed to keep a dog. Found by Graeme.

- Byron had four pet geese. Successfully smuggled.

- Byron suffered from anorexia nervosa. It was diagnosed at the time as "brain disease". Successfully smuggled.

- When inn the summer of 1938 when Byron's body was exhumed, one spectator not the quite abnormal development of Byron's penis. Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Fishing

- 18th century man of letters Thomas Burch dressed up as a tree while fishing as a disguise. Found by Henning.

- Ibiza fishermen believe it is unlucky to bring priests onto boats. Found by Tony.

- In Monsey, Indiana, it is illegal to carry fishing tackle in a cemetery. Found by Arthur.

- In Oblong, Illinois it is illegal to make love while fishing on your wedding day. Successfully smuggled.

- In Chicago it is illegal to fish while wearing pyjamas. Successfully smuggled.


- Graeme Garden: 4 points
- Tony Hawks: 1 point
- Arthur Smith: -1 point
- Henning Wehn: -5 points

Broadcast details

Monday 25th October 2010
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Tony Hawks Guest
Arthur Smith Guest
Henning Wehn Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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