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 4

Alan Davies, Jack Dee, Marcus Brigstocke and Lucy Porter play the panel game built on truth and lies hosted by David Mitchell. Subjects covered tonight include eyes, snakes, cutlery and dieting.

Further details

The Truths

Marcus Brigstocke - Dieting

- A goat can consume between 20 and 6,000 calories a day. Found by Jack. Accidentally included by Marcus.

- The blue whale eats about 1,500,000 calories a day. Found by Alan.

- Maggie the elephant in Alaska zoo was given a treadmill to lose weight. Found by Alan.

- Adolf Hitler was plagued by flatulence. Found by Lucy.

- If you diet on holiday you are three times more likely to argue. Successfully smuggled.

- A couple from Yorkshire whose surname is "Coke" named their daughter "Diot". This was in 1379. Successfully smuggled.

Lucy Porter - Snakes

- Some snakes can take three days to copulate. Found by Marcus.

- Snakes have 600 pairs of ribs each. Found by Alan.

- In snakes with two penises, the right-hand one tends to be the most dominant. Found by Marcus.

- Jack Nicholson has a dead rattlesnake embedded in the clear plastic in his toilet seat. Successfully smuggled.

- Vets at London zoo once fitted a snake with a glass eye. Successfully smuggled.

Alan Davies - Eyes

- An ostrich's brain is smaller than its eyeballs. Found by Marcus.

- The early 3D movie House of Wax was directed by Andre du Toth, who never appreciated the effect because he was blind in one eye. Successfully smuggled.

- Pirates believed that piercing their ears and wearing earrings improved their eyesight. Successfully smuggled.

- In Germany it was widely believed that wearing a bat's left eye as a talisman made you invisible. Successfully smuggled.

- The architects who designed St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square for Ivan the Terrible had their eyes gorged out so that they could never look at a building more beautiful. Successfully smuggled.

Jack Dee - Cutlery

- The Queen prepares her dogs own food. Found by Lucy.

- In 17th century England forks were considered an insult to God, who had given us fingers to eat with. Successfully smuggled.

- Until the late 19th century British sailors were forbidden to use forks as they were considered unmanly and harmful to discipline. Successfully smuggled.

- In Elizabethan England spoons were so rare that people carried their own folding spoons to banquets. Successfully smuggled.

- In 2006, a woman in a restaurant in Sydney, Australia, accidentally swallowed a spoon while laughing at a joke. Successfully smuggled.


- Lucy Porter: 4 points
- Alan Davies: 2 points
- Marcus Brigstocke: -1 point
- Jack Dee: -2 points

Broadcast details

Monday 25th April 2011
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Marcus Brigstocke Guest
Alan Davies Guest
Lucy Porter Guest
Jack Dee Guest
Writing team
Colin Swash Writer
John Finnemore Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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