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

Series 8, Episode 4

David Mitchell is joined by Lee Mack, Jack Dee, Rufus Hound and Graeme Garden. Today they talk on the subjects of nuts, boy scouts, the circus and Florence Nightingale.

Further details

The Truths

Jack Dee - Boy Scouts

- Indonesia has the most boy scouts, with over 17 million. Found by Graeme.

- Mariah Carey, Cat Deeley and Carol Vorderman were all Girl Guides. Found by Lee.

- The Boy Scout slogan "Be Prepared" is a reference to the initials of Lord Baden-Powell. Found by Rufus.

- Lord Baden-Powell acted as a spy during the Boer War and disguised plans of Boer fortifications and gun placements in sketches of butterfly wings, leafs and a stained glass window. Successfully smuggled.

- Adolf Hitler banned the Boy Scouts, replacing them with the Hitler Youth. Lord Baden-Powell was at first keen to set up ties with the Hitler Youth. Successfully smuggled.

Lee Mack - Nuts

- Brazil nuts are radioactive. Found by Graeme.

- Grey squirrels sometimes pretend to dig nuts underground, when in actual fact they just dig empty holes to fool nut thieves. Found by Rufus.

- Peanuts are not nuts. Found by Graeme.

- In New York State you are not allowed to walk backwards while eating peanuts. Found by Graeme.

- When chopped up fine macadamia nuts resemble crack cocaine. They are often used in police sting operations in the USA. Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Florence Nightingale

- Florence Nightingale had a pet owl which she kept stuffed in her pocket. Found by Rufus.

- Florence Nightingale invented the pie chart, which she called the "rose diagram". Successfully smuggled.

- Queen Victoria engaged Fortnum and Mason to supply beef tea to Florence Nightingale to keep her troops healthy. Successfully smuggled.

- Florence Nightingale served only two years as an active nurse. She was a nursing manager when she went to the Crimea. Successfully smuggled.

- Make-up entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden's real name is Florence Nightingale Graham. Successfully smuggled.

Rufus Hound - The Circus

- 30 people have died due to human cannonball accidents. Found by Graeme.

- Gorillas in a zoo near Cologne, Germany have their own clown. Found by Lee.

- Bozo the Clown had size 83 AAA shoes and was the role model for Ronald McDonald. Successfully smuggled.

- The act of knife-throwing is known as "The impalement arts", despite the fact that the object of it is to avoid impaling anything. Successfully smuggled.

- A clown invented pink lemonade, after running out of water and in desperation using the pink water from a tub in which someone had previously washed their red tights. Successfully smuggled.


- Graeme Garden: 9 points
- Rufus Hound: 3 points
- Jack Dee and Lee Mack: -3 points

Broadcast details

Monday 16th January 2012
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Lee Mack Guest
Jack Dee Guest
Rufus Hound Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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