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 5 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra today at 9am.

Series 9, Episode 6

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 goats, singing, glue and painting.

Further details

The Truths

Miles Jupp - Goats

- The British Goat Society was formed in 1879. Found by Susan.

- The Romans used goats licking a person's feet as a form of torture. It would start with a tickling but get more painful as it went on. Found by Alan.

- The chamois goat can balance on cliff no thicker than a coin. Found by Susan.

- Goats are easier to milk than cows. Found by Marcus.

- "Butthead" is a term used to mean "a goat with horns". Successfully smuggled.

Susan Calman - Singing

- Blackbirds are the first birds to sing in the dawn chorus, followed by the song thrush, the robin, the wren, the grey tit and the chaffinch. Found by Miles.

- Male gibbons duet when they sing. Found by Marcus.

- Andrew Lloyd Webber has gotten uglier as he has got older. Found by Marcus. Accidentally included by Susan.

- Opera singer Enrico Caruso was once convicted of pinching a woman's bottom in a monkey house in 1906. He was fined $10, but there are suspicions that he was the victim of entrapment by the arresting officer. Successfully smuggled.

- Legend has it that Carlo Broschi, one of the greatest castrato singers of all time, could hold a note for over 6 minutes. He could certainly to it for over a minute, which is still an extraordinary achievement. Successfully smuggled.

- Nero ate leeks to improve his singing voice. Successfully smuggled.

Marcus Brigstocke - Glue

- The glue on Israeli postage stamps is kosher. Found by Susan.

- American postage stamps are not fattening. There is only one tenth of a calorie in the adhesive on the back of the stamp. British stamps have 5.9 calories. Found by Miles.

- Kevin Spacey put glue on his fingers together while filming The Usual Suspects to give his left hand the feeling of paralysis. Found by Susan.

- One Romanian man glued a condom to his penis. He told doctors at the time he did it because he did not want any more children. Found by Miles.

- "Gecle" is a form of glue combining the sticky feet of geckos and the glue used in muscles. Successfully smuggled.

Alan Davies - Painting

- Kanye West paid $350,000 to have a version of the Sistine Chapel ceiling painted in his dining room ceiling. Found by Miles.

- The ancient Greek painted Zeuxis died from laughing at one of his own paintings. Found by Miles.

- One Croatian couple mourned the death of their pet Dalmatian by painting the outside of their house white with black spots. Found by Marcus.

- A man from Los Angeles was arrested for hiding under tables in university libraries and painting women's toenails. Successfully smuggled.

- Alexander Fleming made "germ paintings" using multicoloured bacteria. They were invisible when painted on but became colourful as they grew. He painted ballerinas, houses and soldiers. Successfully smuggled.


- Susan Calman: 5 points
- Miles Jupp: 4 points
- Alan Davies: 2 points
- Marcus Brigstocke: 1 point

Broadcast details

Monday 7th May 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

Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • Broadcast details of 6 further repeats of this episode

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?