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 9, Episode 4

David Mitchell presents another edition of the panel game built on truth and lies. The guests, Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Lucy Porter and Graeme Garden, talk on subjects such as restaurants, Barbie dolls, feet and garlic.

Further details

The Truths

Arthur Smith - Barbie Dolls

- Fruit-flies with the Ken and Barbie gene has no external genitalia. Other humorously named fruit-fly genes include the Cheap Date gene with which the fruit-fly get drunk easier and the Kenny gene with which the fruit-fly dies quickly (named after the character in South Park). Found by Tony.

- According to American research if a real woman were to have Barbie's proportions she would have to walk on all fours. Her legs are 50% longer than her arms whereas a normal woman's are only 20% longer. This combined with her large bust and small feet would mean she would constantly fall forward. She would also need someone to support her head because her neck is twice as long as the average woman's. Found by Lucy.

- Barbie's waistline is so small that she would only have room half a liver and a few centimetres of intestine, meaning that she would have constant diarrhoea. This would be the least of her troubles through as she would die from malabsorption and malnutrition. She also has a low BMI of 10 meaning she would be anorexic and she lacks the 17% body fat needed to menstruate or have children. Found by Graeme.

- Mattel caused controversy when it was discovered that the pink wheelchair of Barbie's disabled friend Share-a-Smile Becky could not fit into the lift in Barbie's house. Mattel's response was to promote a new doll's house with a wide-enough lift. Found by Lucy.

- Arthur Smith does not like Engelbert Humperdinck. Found by Graeme, accidentally included by Arthur.

- Among the careers that Barbie has had over the years include that of astronaut. Found by Lucy.

Tony Hawks - Restaurants

- The Guolizhuang restaurant in Beijing is China's first speciality penis restaurant. It also serves testicles, but they recommend that women should not eat them as the hormones may result in deeper voices and beards. On the other the hand they claim penises are good for women and are especially good for the skin. Found by Lucy.

- Some Japanese restaurants served sushi off the bodies of naked ladies. This practice is known as "nyotaimori". Found by Lucy.

- The already mentioned penis restaurant offers Canadian seal penis for $440. Found by Arthur.

- Brad Pitt once worked as a chicken advertising a restaurant chain. Found by Arthur.

- The Romanian for "carp" is "crap". Successfully smuggled.

Lucy Porter - Feet

- Three quarters of people wear the wrong size shoes. Found by Tony.

- Nepalese women show their love for their husbands by washing the husband's feet then drinking the dirty water. Found by Tony.

- King Louis XVIII's feet started rotting in his old age. Found by Tony.

- Barbara Windsor has Size 1 feet. She has won separate awards for her feet, her bottom and her breasts. Successfully smuggled.

- The turkey vulture squirts excrement onto its feet to stay cool. Successfully smuggled.

Graeme Garden - Garlic

- In Gary, Indiana, it is illegal to enter a tram or public theatre within four hours of eating garlic. Found by Tony.

- The Queen hates garlic. Found by Tony.

- The city of Chicago gets it name from the old Native American word "shikaakwa", meaning "wild garlic". The town of Ramsbottom means, "wild garlic valley". Found by Arthur.

- The Book of Numbers in the Bible contains the quote: "Remember the fish, and the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions and the garlik." (With garlic spelt with a "k".) Successfully smuggled.

- Drew Barrymore is allergic to garlic. Successfully smuggled.


- Lucy Porter: 5 points
- Graeme Garden: 4 points
- Tony Hawks: -3 points
- Arthur Smith: -6 points

Broadcast details

Monday 23rd April 2012
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Host / Presenter
Guest cast
Graeme Garden Guest
Tony Hawks Guest
Lucy Porter Guest
Arthur Smith Guest
Writing team
Dan Gaster Writer
Colin Swash Writer
Production team
Jon Naismith Producer

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