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 9, Episode 3

David Mitchell presents another edition of the panel game built on truth and lies. The guests, Marcus Brigstocke, Miles Jupp, Susan Calman and Alan Davies, talk on the subjects of swimming, bread, hotels and foxes.

Further details

The Truths

Marcus Brigstocke - Swimming

- Scientists estimate that by the time they are 15-years-old, tuna fish will have travelled in the region of a million miles. Found by Susan.

- In Sarasota, Florida, it is illegal to sing in a public place whilst wearing a swimming costume. Found by Alan.

- About 1,600 Belgians voted in their country's national election wearing only swimming costumes or trunks. It was organised as a promotional campaign by Virgin Express, giving travel tickets to the first 1,500 who did it. Found by Susan.

- Evelyn Waugh once fell into a depression and intended to commit suicide by swimming out to sea, but he was stung by a jellyfish during the attempt and decided not to carry on with the attempt. Successfully smuggled.

- Swimmers in Rochester, Michigan, must have their bathing suits inspected by a police officer before swimming in public. Successfully smuggled.

Miles Jupp - Bread

- It was once thought that warts could be cured by stealing bread, rubbing it on the wart and then burying it. Found by Marcus.

- In Latin America there is a brand of bread called "Bimbo". Found by Marcus.

- A bun brought at Paddington Station in 1942 was donated to Cambridge University in 2002 to help researchers study railway catering. Found by Susan.

- It is considered bad luck to turn a loaf of bread upside-down once a slice has been removed. It is believed this dates back to when bread was an important foodstuff for peasants and that they should avoid dropping it at all costs. Successfully smuggled.

- German pumpernickel bread comes from the German words meaning "To break wind" and "Devil", because the sour bread was said to be so difficult to digest that it made even Satan fart. Successfully smuggled.

Susan Calman - Hotels

- The Dasparkhotel in Austria consists of rooms made out of three big concrete drainpipes with double-beds squeezed into them. Patrons pay what they want. Found by Miles.

- David and Jean Davidson moved out of their flat in Sheffield and into Travelodges on the A1 where they lived for 22 years, because it was cheaper than a care home. Found by Miles.

- Marlon Brando checked into hotels under the name of "Lord Greystoke", the real name of Tarzan. Found by Miles.

- Mariah Carey insists that pink toilet paper is put in her hotel rooms. Found by Alan.

- There is a hotel near Ayres Rock, Australia, shaped like a crocodile. Successfully smuggled.

Alan Davies - Foxes

- The ancient Romans believed a headache could be cured by tying fox genitals to the head. Found by Marcus.

- On rainy days King Henry IV of France would conduct indoor fox hunts in grand gallery in the Louver. Found by Susan.

- The foxtrot was invented in 1914 by Harry Fox. Found by Susan.

- Roadkill Recipes by Arthur Boyt is Britain's first "flattened fauna cookbook". Found by Susan.

- The Japanese word for "foxtrot" is "fokkusutorotto". Successfully smuggled.


- Susan Calman: 5 points
- Alan Davies: 3 points
- Miles Jupp: 0 points
- Marcus Brigstocke: -1 point

Broadcast details

Monday 16th April 2012
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Marcus Brigstocke Guest
Alan Davies Guest
Susan Calman Guest
Miles Jupp Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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