The Unbelievable Truth. David Mitchell. Copyright: BBC / Random Entertainment.

The Unbelievable Truth

BBC Radio 4 panel show built on truth and lies. 135 episodes (pilot + 22 series), 2006 - 2019. Stars David Mitchell.

Another series is in development.
Recording at Shaw Theatre. Tickets

Graeme Garden's 'Red' Lecture

The Unbelievable Truth book. Copyright: BBC / Random Entertainment.The Unbelievable Truth is the hit Radio 4 panel show in which contestants must try to hide five strange-but-true facts into an otherwise entirely fictitious essay. A book to accompany the series is out now. It includes some essays by creator Graeme Garden, one of which - on the topic of 'Red' - we re-print below with permission. Can you spot the five truths he is trying to smuggle past you?

As every schoolboy knows, red is the third colour of the speculum, being a subtractive binary hue with a wavelength between 6 and 6.2 thousand micro-newtons and a frequency of 2.

In human colour psychology, Red is associated with cowardice, laziness, greed, envy and Thursday. In scientific laboratories, signs warning of hazards are usually bright red to denote danger.

Every creature on earth knows the difference between red and green, except for guide dogs for the blind who cannot tell a red light from a green one. They are trusted to direct their owners across the street purely because they are known to be extremely lucky.

It is recognised that red is the most attractive hair colour by far, and yet when a survey was carried out in 2008 it found 62 of the world's 100 richest men were married to brunettes, 22 to blondes, 16 to 'raven-haired' women, and none at all to a redhead.

The American comedian 'Red' Skelton got his nickname from his first name 'Redvers'. He later took to dyeing his hair red to match his name - despite warnings that it would be professional suicide!

Silent movie star Clara Bow had her hair dyed red to match the fur of her two Red Setters. It had no adverse effect on her film career however, as she appeared solely in black and white.

Although they never go grey or bald, redheads start out with less hair than anyone else. They have an average of 90,000 hairs compared to the 140,000 you have if you're blonde. Compared to other coloured hair, red hair is notably sensitive. Many red-haired people dislike going to the hairdresser as much as going to the dentist, as they can actually feel the hairs being cut. This sensitivity isn't only restricted to hair; in fact research has shown that people with ginger hair require 20 per cent more anaesthetic before surgery than people with other coloured hair.

The spice ginger gets its name from the profuse red hairs found sprouting from the root before it is shaved for market.

Scientists in South Korea have manipulated the genes in a cat to make it glow red. The so-called 'Fire Cat' gives out enough light to read a book by. The scientists explain that they have done this to benefit the animal because the red cat will now be invisible to dogs. Meanwhile scientists in North Korea have been working on a project to make everyone in South Korea glow red in the dark.


Answers:

Traffic Lights.Fact 1: Guide dogs for the blind cannot tell a red light from a green one.

Fact 2: When a survey was carried out in 2008 it found 62 of the world's 100 richest men were married to brunettes, 22 to blondes, 16 to 'raven-haired' women, and none at all to a redhead.

Fact 3: Redheads start out with less hair than anyone else. They have an average of 90,000 hairs compared to the 140,000 you have if you're blonde.

Fact 4: Research has shown that people with ginger hair require 20 per cent more anaesthetic before surgery than people with other coloured hair.

Fact 5: Scientists in South Korea have manipulated the genes in a cat to make it glow red.

Bonus Fact: The Unbelievable Truth book makes for a great gift. Find out more

Published: Thursday 19th December 2013