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 2nd November at 9am.

Series 8, Episode 3

David Mitchell is joined by Tom Wrigglesworth, Tony Hawks, Alan Davies and John Finnemore to talk on subjects such as hamburgers, snoring, pens and crocodiles.

Further details

The Truths

Tony Hawks - Hamburgers

- The Hamburger University opened in Illinois in 1961. It was founded by Fred Turner, former senior chairperson at McDonald's. Found by John.

- Jon Bon Jovi worked at a burger bar. Found by John.

- In Oklahoma it is illegal to take a bite out of somebody else's burger. Successfully smuggled.

- Ray Crock, the man who made McDonald's a global franchise, has a bachelor in hamburgerology from Hamburger University. Successfully smuggled.

- Raindrops over 2mm in diameter flatten out into the shape of a burger bun when they fall to the ground. Successfully smuggled.

Tom Wrigglesworth - Snoring

- Gorillas never snore. Found by Tony.

- In February 2007 an Iranian man filed for divorce on the grounds of his wife's snoring. His wife tried mixing sleeping pills in his food so that he would not notice the snoring. Found by Tony.

- Wombats sleep face up with their legs in the air. Thus they often snore. Successfully smuggled.

- Beau Brummell reportedly snored. Successfully smuggled.

- In 2005 the British Medical Journal published an article saying that regularly playing the didgeridoo can help to reduce snoring. Successfully smuggled.

John Finnemore - Crocodiles

- Crocodiles once lived in a city called Crocodilopolis. It was in Ancient Egypt and got this name from the Greeks because the human inhabitants worshipped the animals. Found by Tony.

- You can close a crocodile's jaw shut with a rubber band, because the muscles used to open the mouth are very weak. Found by Alan.

- A hippopotamus can snap a crocodile in two with its jaws. Found by Tom.

- It's a myth that it's a myth that crocodiles cry crocodile tears. They do cry, mainly when their eyes are drying out because they have been on land for a long time. They also cry when eating their pray. Successfully smuggled.

- Prince Waldemar of Prussia, Queen Victoria's grandson, once released his pet crocodile into her bedroom as a joke. Successfully smuggled.

Alan Davies - Pens

- Quills for right handed people came from the left wing of a goose, while quills for left handed people came from the right wing. Found by Tony.

- Thomas Edison invented an electric pen in 1875. Although it never caught on, the design was used for the first tattooing pen. Found by Tony.

- The man who invented the ballpoint pen, Lazlo Biro, also invented the automatic gearbox. Found by John.

- Wayne Lee invented a pen for travelling salesmen that converted into a coat hanger. Found by John.

- Rubber was named as such because it could rub out pencil marks. The name was first given by J.B. Priestly, who also discovered oxygen. Successfully smuggled.


- Tony Hawks: 7 points
- John Finnemore: 0 points
- Alan Davies: -2 points
- Tom Wrigglesworth: -3 points

Broadcast details

Monday 9th January 2012
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Tony Hawks Guest
Alan Davies Guest
Tom Wrigglesworth Guest
John Finnemore Guest
Writing team
Iain Pattinson Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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