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 7, Episode 3

Arthur Smith, Tony Hawks, Charlie Brooker and Rhod Gilbert appear in the panel game built on truth and lies. Subjects covered tonight include mice, soup, television and Sir Walter Raleigh.

Further details

The Truths

Tony Hawks - Mice

- In 1578, a shower of yellow mice fell in Bergen, Norway. The following year there was a shower of lemmings in the same town. Found by Rhod.

- East Australian brown antechinus mice have 16 partners a time, with sex sessions in trees lasting up to 12 hours. They often become so weak that the mice fall out of the tree and are killed. Found by Charlie.

- Mice prefer women to men. Successfully smuggled.

- Mice sing and whistle like birds, but it is at a pitch too high for humans to hear. Successfully smuggled.

- Mice cream is a popular dish in the Arctic. It is sautéed mice mixed with cream. Successfully smuggled.

Charlie Brooker - Television

- St. Claire is the patron saint of television. She was a 13th century nun who could not attend a service and so was shown a vision of it on her cell wall after praying to God. Found by Rhod.

- John Logie Baird once blanked out the whole of the electricity supply of Glasgow after a failed attempt to make artificial diamonds. He also invented an inflatable shoe and a glass razor, but these never took off. However, he did successfully invent and market thermal socks. Found by Tony.

- One early TV programme made before WWII was Come and be Televised, which featured a young Bruce Forsyth. Found by Rhod.

- People once complained about Bob Holness waving on Blockbusters, because they thought his wave looked too much like a Nazi salute. Found by Rhod.

- UKTV Style once has an online TV show called Watching Paint Dry, in which people watched different types of paint dry 24 hours a day and voted for the best one. Successfully smuggled.

Arthur Smith - Sir Walter Raleigh

- Sir Francis Drake showed Raleigh how to smoke. Found by Charlie.

- After Raleigh had his head cut off it was embalmed and presented to his wife, who carried it around with her in a velvet bag. Found by Tony.

- Raleigh never visited Virginia or indeed any other part of North America. Successfully smuggled.

- It is likely that "raw-lee" was most common pronunciation of Raleigh's name during his life-time. Elizabeth I's nickname for him was "Water", because of way Raleigh pronounced his name in his Devonshire accent. Successfully smuggled.

- During the 15 years Raleigh was imprisoned he wrote a five-volume history of the world, but only got as a far as the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Successfully smuggled.

Rhod Gilbert - Soup

- Amazonian tribes have made soup out of the powdered bones of dead relatives. Found by Tony.

- Elvis Presley liked to have chicken soup between performances. Found by Tony.

- It is illegal to slurp soup in a public eating place New Jersey. Successfully smuggled.

- Nebraskan bar owners cannot sell beer unless they are also brewing a kettle of soup. Successfully smuggled.

- Victorian eccentric Francis Buckland claimed that elephant trunk soup was still too chewy, even though he had been cooking it for several days. Successfully smuggled.


- Tony Hawks: 2 points
- Charlie Brooker and Rhod Gilbert: -3 points
- Arthur Smith: -6 points

Broadcast details

Monday 18th April 2011
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Tony Hawks Guest
Arthur Smith Guest
Rhod Gilbert Guest
Charlie Brooker Guest
Writing team
Colin Swash Writer
John Finnemore Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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