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 today at 9am.

Series 7, Episode 2

Clive Anderson, Sue Perkins, Henning Wehn and Graeme Garden appear in the panel game built on truth and lies. Subjects covered tonight include dogs, lobsters, Lewis Carroll and the Sun.

Further details

The Truths

Henning Wehn - Dogs

- Dogs are mentioned 40 times in the Bible (varying between different translations), but there are no mentions of cats, dinosaurs, the Loch Ness monster, Ken Dodd's diddymen, the Wombles or recycling. Found by Clive.

- A dog can make 100 unique facial expressions. Found by Sue.

- In Salem, Massachusetts, two dogs were hanged for witchcraft in 1692. Found by Clive.

- German dogs say "vow-vow". Successfully smuggled.

- France was once home to the inventor of the dog-powered tricycle. Successfully smuggled.

Sue Perkins - The Sun (the star, not newspaper)

- The Greek philosopher Heraclitus believed that the Sun was made fresh every day. Found by Graeme.

- Trees and very tall buildings lean or swell up towards the Sun. Found by Henning.

- The Eiffel Tower leans away from the Sun. Found by Graeme.

- Caligula liked to wonder around his palace at night, commanding the Sun to rise. Successfully smuggled.

- The human body produces more heat than the Sun on average, by mass. Successfully smuggled.

Clive Anderson - Lewis Carroll

- Carroll never left England except for one trip to Russia. Found by Graeme.

- The Walrus from The Walrus and the Carpenter is based on a stuffed specimen that Carroll saw in Sunderland. Found by Sue.

- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was banned in China because it featured speaking animals. Found by Sue.

- Carroll never wore an overcoat. This might have lead to his death from pneumonia at the age of 65. Successfully smuggled.

- Carroll has been accused of involvement in the Jack the Ripper murders. It is based on anagrams of the poem Jabberwocky. Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Lobsters

- Lobster tastes like a tail of a crocodile or the tail of a monkfish, also known as "poor man's lobster". Found by Sue.

- In Japan there are lobster vending machines. Found by Henning.

- Oscar Wilde took a lobster for walks, which was attached to a piece of string. Found by Sue.

- The musical furry lobster is a species of lobster first found by French researchers in the 1980s. However, they did not know that it was a new species and they ate it by mistake. Successfully smuggled.

- Lobsters have a habit of hanging onto the tail of the animal in front of them as they march across the sea floor. Spiny lobsters migrate this way. Successfully smuggled.


- Graeme Garden: 3 points
- Sue Perkins and Henning Wehn: 2 points
- Clive Anderson: 1 point

Broadcast details

Monday 11th April 2011
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Clive Anderson Guest
Sue Perkins Guest
Henning Wehn Guest
Writing team
Colin Swash Writer
John Finnemore Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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