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 1 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra on Monday at 9am.

Series 7, Episode 6

Arthur Smith, Tony Hawks, Charlie Brooker and Rhod Gilbert appear in the panel game built on truth and lies. Subject covered tonight include ears, divorce, badgers and ice cream.

Further details

The Truths

Rhod Gilbert - Badgers

- The bone in a badger's penis was used as a tiepin during Victorian times. They were commonly given as wedding gifts. Found by Tony.

- Badger meat was commonly eaten during World War Two. It is still eaten today in Russia. Found by Arthur.

- Badger mating lasts on average 90 minutes, although it can last as little as a couple of minutes. Found by Charlie.

- Badger sets have on-suite bathrooms. Successfully smuggled.

- In 2007 British troops were to have rumoured to have released man-eating badgers to fight off terrorists in Iraq. The rumour was quashed, and the badgers in question were local vicious honey badgers. Successfully smuggled.

Arthur Smith - Ears

- "Tutting ear" is an insult in Italy meaning "you are a homosexual and should wear an earring". Found by Tony.

- A Chinese man discovered that he could blow up balloons and blow out candles using air that was coming out of his ears. Found by Rhod.

- Beavers have closable ears. Found by Charlie.

- Of the 7.5 million people in Britain who use TV subtitles, 6 million have no hearing impairment. According to Ofcom, many people use subtitles to keep up with complicated plots and unfamiliar accents in American TV dramas. Found by Charlie.

- Woodpeckers have an ear at the end of their tongue. Successfully smuggled.

Tony Hawks - Divorce

- Divorced people smell, as does everyone. Found by Charlie, accidentally include by Tony.

- A divorced man from New Jersey divided his home between himself and his ex-wife literally by taking a chainsaw and cutting the house in two. Found by Arthur.

- Cher's parents divorced and married each other three times. Found by Arthur.

- A 28-year-old Indonesian man married no fewer than 121 women over 7 years. In litigation he claimed to have divorced 93 of them. He was jailed for 7 years. Found by Rhod.

- A Californian couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ballard, divorced while they were sky diving together. Found by Arthur.

- Not providing coffee can be grounds for a woman to separate from her husband in Saudi Arabia. Successfully smuggled.

Charlie Brooker - Ice Cream

- Margaret Thatcher helped to develop Mr Whippy ice cream. It contains more air than normal ice cream, so you use fewer ingredients and thus reduce costs. Found by Rhod.

- Ice cream sundaes as so called because you could serve them on a Sunday, as they did not use soda. Found by Rhod.

- Nero ordered slaves to bring him buckets of snow from mountains which would then flavour and consume. Successfully smuggled.

- There is a horse flesh flavoured ice cream. Successfully smuggled.

- In Kansas it is illegal for eateries to serve ice cream on cherry pie. Successfully smuggled.


- Arthur Smith: 1 point
- Tony Hawks: -3 points
- Charlie Brooker: -4 points
- Rhod Gilbert: -6 points

Broadcast details

Monday 9th May 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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