The Unbelievable Truth

Created by Graeme Garden and Jon Naismith, of BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, David Mitchell and his masters of deception mix blatant lies with impossible truths in a battle of wits. This week features Mitchell’s poker-playing, more attractive other half Victorian Coren Mitchell, Sarah Millican, Holly Walsh and Katherine Ryan. For those familiar with the television comedy panel show Would I Lie to You?, expect faster, wittier falsehoods woven into extended narratives on unusual topics, including IKEA, marriage, Switzerland and chewing gum.

These satirical lectures on topics of next-to-no interest surprisingly make for comedy gold in their radio form with intricate, pre-prepared fabrications creating far more opportunities for humour and successful trickery than Would I Lie to You?’s often conspicuous tall tales. These ridiculous and aptly-named unbelievable truths are lightly insightful in their absurdity leaving you giggling away at the legalities of Swiss snail hunting. For fans of the Did you know?, the bizarre and the pointless, discussions of the the Ingvar Kamprad’s ‘IKEA youth’ – the one in five children conceived in IKEA beds – betrothals to inanimate objects, and the unfortunately named ‘mastication-induced arousal’ of chewing gum to stimulate the brain, the panel covert tedium into tomfoolery.

Now in its fifteenth series, the show offers a brilliant platform for comedians to intelligently revel in their drollery among fellow professional funnymen (and women), complete with David Mitchell and Victorian Cohen’s marital quips. With contestants gaining points for successfully masking true facts or for wiggling out the unlikely realities, the difficult challenge of The Unbelievable Truth can leave the scores in minus QI territories amidst the nonsense of fibs and buzzes.

Demonstrating that comedic delivery and aptitude can make any topic hilarious, these half-hour explorations into the rightly unknown inanely arm the listener for all awkward dinner party situations. If you are unfamiliar with the Swiss Anti-PowerPoint Party, Texas’ temporary ban on all marriage in 2005, or the Somalian laws of chewing gum placement, why not act on your ignorance of unbelievable truths?

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