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Incredible truths and barely credible lies
July 29, 2014 5:14 PM   Subscribe

"Welcome to The Unbelievable Truth, the panel game show about incredible truths and barely credible lies. I am your host, David Mitchell. The rules are as follows: each panelist will present a short lecture that should be entirely false save for five pieces of true information which they should attempt to smuggle past their opponents – cunningly concealed amongst the lies. Points are scored by truths that go unnoticed while other panelists can win a point if they spot a truth or lose points if they mistake a lie for a truth."
Having recently concluded its 13th series, the show has amassed 81 episodes. For your listening pleasure:

Pilot: 19 October 2006
  • Jeremy Hardy, Andy Hamilton, Neil Mullarkey, and Graeme Garden on Hair, Football, Cats, and Bees. episode
Series 1 (2007)
  • Episode One: Marcus Brigstocke on coffee, Tony Hawks on cats, Frankie Boyle on Michael Jackson and Neil Mullarkey on beards. one two three
  • Episode Two: Alan Davies on Coca-Cola, Clive Anderson on carrots, Jo Brand on Morris dancing and Jeremy Hardy on the human body. one two three
  • Episode Three: Alan Davies on the London Underground, Clive Anderson on the Ancient Egyptians, Jo Brand on Queen Elizabeth I and Jeremy Hardy on chickens. one two three
  • Episode Four: Sandi Toksvig on George W. Bush, Dara O'Briain on women, Jo Caulfield on ants and Graeme Garden on the Olympic Games. one two three
  • Episode Five: Marcus Brigstocke on the Queen, Tony Hawks on bras, Frankie Boyle on hemp and Neil Mullarkey on barcodes. one two three
  • Episode Six: Sandi Toksvig on her native Denmark, Dara O'Briain on rats, Jo Caulfield on Prince Philip and Graeme Garden on trousers. one two three
Series 2 (2008)
  • Episode One: Phill Jupitus on bears, Tony Hawks on tennis, Alan Davies on bears and Simon Evans on Queen Victoria. episode
  • Episode Two: Michael McIntyre on toilets, Fred MacAulay on cows, Graeme Garden on sandwiches and Lucy Porter on giraffes. episode
  • Episode Three: Tim Vine on hedgehogs, Adam Buxton on hair, Ed Byrne on kissing and Lee Mack on potatoes. episode
  • Episode Four: Phill Jupitus on bears, Tony Hawks on skateboards, Alan Davies on frogs and Simon Evans on William Shakespeare. episode
  • Episode Five: Michael McIntyre on pigs, Fred MacAulay on beds, Graeme Garden on Sweden and Lucy Porter on Leonardo da Vinci. episode
  • Episode Six: Tim Vine on Napoleon Bonaparte, Adam Buxton on marriage, Ed Byrne on left-handedness and Lee Mack on fleas. episode
The Unbelievable Truth Christmas Special: In this special Christmas edition Graeme Garden on Christmas tree, Jack Dee on Charles Dickens, Armando Iannucci on Father Christmas and Sean Lock on turkeys. episode

Series 3 (2009)
  • Episode One: Graeme Garden on bicycles, Chris Addison on Albert Einstein, Clive Anderson on money and Lucy Porter on penguins. episode
  • Episode Two: Tony Hawks on dogs, Simon Evans on Iceland, Johnny Vaughan on football and Milton Jones on Prince Charles. episode
  • Episode Three: Graeme Garden on China, Chris Addison on the postal service, Clive Anderson on the Moon and Lucy Porter on moustaches. episode
  • Episode Four: Jack Dee on smiling, Fred MacAulay on Charles Darwin, Will Smith on cucumbers and Jeremy Hardy on dolphins. episode
  • Episode Five: Sue Perkins on Henry VIII, Arthur Smith on cockroaches, Sean Lock on dancing and Miranda Hart on cricket. one two three
  • Episode Six: Jack Dee on umbrellas, Fred MacAulay on the brain, Will Smith on alcohol and Jeremy Hardy on cheese. one two three
Series 4 (2009)
  • Episode One (Recorded at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival): Reginald D. Hunter on cats, Shappi Khorsandi on tea, Adam Hills on Adolf Hitler and Rhod Gilbert on golf. one two three
  • Episode Two: Clive Anderson on baldness, Henning Wehn on Winston Churchill, Fi Glover on urine and Dom Joly on dwarves. one two three
  • Episode Three: Tony Hawks on teeth, Arthur Smith on underpants, Phill Jupitus on the Vikings and Graeme Garden on Birmingham. one two three
  • Episode Four (recorded at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe Festival): Reginald D. Hunter on Julius Caesar, Shappi Khorsandi on kissing, Adam Hills on kangaroos and Rhod Gilbert on milk. one two three
  • Episode Five: Clive Anderson on tobacco, Henning Wehn on sausages, Fi Glover on frogs and Dom Joly on Elvis Presley. one two three
  • Episode Six: Tony Hawks on Ludwig van Beethoven, Arthur Smith on wigs, Phill Jupitus on honey and Graeme Garden on telephones. one two three
New Year's Special: Rob Brydon on snow, John Lloyd on tax, Stephen Fry on champagne and Alan Davies on tigers. [apparently not available online]

Series 5 (2010)
  • Episode One: Lucy Porter, Henning Wehn, Marcus Brigstocke and Graeme Garden discuss Sleep, Beer, Childbirth and Sir Isaac Newton. one two
  • Episode Two: Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Phill Jupitus and Catherine Tate talk about Hats, Pigeons, Hairdressers and Admiral Lord Nelson. one two
  • Episode Three: Susan Calman, Liza Tarbuck, Fred MacAulay and Charlie Brooker talk about Skiing, Elephants, Chocolate and Cleopatra. episode
  • Episode Four: Lucy Porter, Henning Wehn, Marcus Brigstocke and Graeme Garden about Soap, Pudding, Rabbits and the Taxi Cab. one two
  • Episode Five: Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Phill Jupitus and Catherine Tate talk about ostriches, toast, spectacles and the colour red. one two
  • Episode Six: Fred MacAulay on ducks; Liza Tarbuck lectures on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Susan Calman has researched make-up; and Charlie Brooker has the topic of Thomas Edison. one two
Series 6 (2010)
  • Episode One: Chris Addison, Susan Calman, Rufus Hound and Armando Iannucci about Henry Ford, biscuits, rain and squirrels. episode
  • Episode Two: Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Henning Wehn and Graeme Garden on cake, shoes, nudity and Walt Disney. episode
  • Episode Three (Recorded at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe): Rhod Gilbert, Kevin Bridges, Tom Wrigglesworth and Lucy Porter on spiders, mushrooms, eggs and Edinburgh. episode
  • Episode Four: Chris Addison, Susan Calman, Rufus Hound and Armando Iannucci on clocks, funerals, goldfish and Joseph Stalin. episode
  • Episode Five: Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Henning Wehn and Graeme Garden on noses, apples, fishing and Lord Byron. episode
  • Episode Six (Recorded at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe): Rhod Gilbert, Kevin Bridges, Tom Wrigglesworth and Lucy Porter discuss bells, donkeys, the police and Mrs Beeton. episode
Series 7 (2011)
  • Episode One: Alan Davies, Jack Dee, Marcus Brigstocke and Lucy Porter on Enid Blyton, curry, flies and breasts. episode
  • Episode Two: Clive Anderson, Sue Perkins, Henning Wehn and Graeme Garden on dogs, lobsters, Lewis Carroll and the Sun. episode
  • Episode Three: Arthur Smith, Tony Hawks, Charlie Brooker and Rhod Gilbert on mice, soup, television and Sir Walter Raleigh. episode
  • Episode Four: Alan Davies, Jack Dee, Marcus Brigstocke and Lucy Porter on eyes, snakes, cutlery and dieting. episode
  • Episode Five: Clive Anderson, Sue Perkins, Henning Wehn and Graeme Garden on sheep, furniture, the ancient Greeks and Arthur Conan Doyle. episode
  • Episode Six: Arthur Smith, Tony Hawks, Charlie Brooker and Rhod Gilbert on ears, divorce, badgers and ice cream. episode
Series 8 (2011)
  • Episode One (Special Christmas edition): Lee Mack, Jack Dee, Rufus Hound and Graeme Garden on reindeer, decorations, boxes and pantomime. episode
  • Episode Two (Recorded at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe): Mark Watson, Phill Jupitus, Ed Byrne and Henning Wehn on the Olympics, butter, bees and blood. episode
  • Episode Three: Tom Wrigglesworth, Tony Hawks, Alan Davies and John Finnemore on hamburgers, snoring, pens and crocodiles. episode
  • Episode Four: Lee Mack, Jack Dee, Rufus Hound and Graeme Garden on nuts, boy scouts, the circus and Florence Nightingale. episode
  • Episode Five (recorded at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe): Mark Watson, Roisin Conaty, Alex Horne and Henning Wehn on competitions, chickens, sweets and the Romans. episode
  • Episode Six: Tom Wrigglesworth, Tony Hawks, Alan Davies and John Finnemore talk on subjects such as wool, flowers, the radio and pasta.[apparently not available online]
Series 9 (2012)
  • Episode One: Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Lucy Porter and Graeme Garden on parrots, breakfast, insurance and Oliver Cromwell. episode
  • Episode Two: John Finnemore, Henning Wehn, Danielle Ward and Tom Wrigglesworth on pandas, football, China and smoking. episode
  • Episode Three: Marcus Brigstocke, Miles Jupp, Susan Calman and Alan Davies on swimming, bread, hotels and foxes. episode
  • Episode Four: Tony Hawks, Arthur Smith, Lucy Porter and Graeme Garden on restaurants, Barbie dolls, feet and garlic. episode
  • Episode Five: John Finnemore, Henning Wehn, Danielle Ward and Tom Wrigglesworth on bats, cars, oranges and Dr. Johnson. episode
  • Episode Six: Marcus Brigstocke, Miles Jupp, Susan Calman and Alan Davies on goats, singing, glue and painting. episode
Series 10 (2012)
  • Episode One: Tony Hawks, Lucy Porter, Ed Byrne and Charlie Higson lie about pies, worms, dancing and James Bond. episode
  • Episode Two (Recorded at the 2012 Fringe Festival): Henning Wehn, Lloyd Langford, Celia Pacquola and Rhod Gilbert lie about wine, the Queen, baths and wind. episode
  • Episode Three: Henning Wehn, Arthur Smith, Holly Walsh and John Finnemore on wasps, computers, Oscar Wilde and Boris Johnson. episode
  • Episode Four: Tony Hawks, Lucy Porter, Ed Byrne and Charlie Higson lie about gambling, turtles, teeth and lemons. episode
  • Episode Five (Recorded at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe): Lloyd Langford, Celia Pacquola, Phill Jupitus and Marcus Brigstocke on Tomatoes, Koalas, Boats and Cheese. episode
  • Episode Six: John Finnemore, Henning Wehn, Holly Walsh and Arthur Smith on Germany, Beards, Camels and Simon Cowell. episode
Series 11 (2013)
  • Episode One: Lloyd Langford, Henning Wehn, Katherine Ryan and Graeme Garden on sharks, photography, sugar and Jeremy Clarkson. episode
  • Episode Two: Rhod Gilbert, Richard Osman, Lucy Beaumont and John Finnemore on moles, cabbages, trains and the BBC. episode
  • Episode Three: Ed Byrne, Mark Watson, Tony Hawks and Lucy Porter on monkeys, fingers, windows and horns. episode
  • Episode Four: Lloyd Langford, Henning Wehn, Katherine Ryan and Graeme Garden on geese, horses, advertising and Madonna. episode
  • Episode Five: Rhod Gilbert, Richard Osman, Lucy Beaumont and John Finnemore on octopuses, planes, armadillos and socks. episode
  • Episode Six: Ed Byrne, Mark Watson, Tony Hawks and Lucy Porter on lions, pianos, grass and the French. episode
Series 12 (2013)
  • Episode One (Recorded from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe): Arthur Smith, Henning Wehn, Bridget Christie and Ed Byrne on poison, etiquette, jelly and... David Mitchell. episode
  • Episode Two: Marcus Brigstocke, Holly Walsh, John Finnemore and Rufus Hound lie about Eton, babies, Russia and hats. episode
  • Episode Three: Henning Wehn, Graeme Garden, Jeremy Hardy and Victoria Coren Mitchell lie on the subjects of trees, doctors, newspapers and Spain. episode
  • Episode Four: Lloyd Langford, Lucy Porter, Tom Wrigglesworth and Fred MacAulay lie on the subjects of women, Japan, owls and potatoes. episode
  • Episode Five: Marcus Brigstocke, Holly Walsh, John Finnemore and Rufus Hound lie on the subjects of board games, salt, guinea pigs and actors. episode
  • Episode Six: Henning Wehn, Graeme Garden, Jeremy Hardy and Victoria Coren Mitchell talk with deliberate inaccuracy on subjects as varied as the British, beetles, the clergy and novels. episode
Series 13
  • Episode One: Alex Horne, Lucy Beaumont, John Finnemore and Jack Dee lie on subjects as varied as birds, witches, birds, pubs, birds, shoes and birds. episode
  • Episode Two: Lloyd Langford, Jon Richardson, Katherine Ryan and Graeme Garden lie on the subjects of whales, pigs, Canada and buses. episode
  • Episode Three: Alex Horne, Lucy Beaumont, John Finnemore and Jack Dee talk with deliberate inaccuracy on subjects as varied as legs, the Internet, dogs and the Middle Ages. episode
  • Episode Four: Lloyd Langford, Jon Richardson, Katherine Ryan and Graeme Garden lie on the subjects of Wales, fish, mouths and perfume. episode
  • Episode Five: Tony Hawks, Susan Calman, Phill Jupitus and Miles Jupp lie on the subjects of the brain, the Victorians, toads and cooking. episode
  • Episode Six: Tony Hawks, Susan Calman, Phill Jupitus and Miles Jupp lie on the subjects of school, bears, underwear and bottles. episode
posted by Lexica (43 comments total) 178 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love David Mitchell on Would I Lie To You, but when I heard about this show it seemed too high-concept and confusing, and I didn't get how it would work. But if it's gone on for 13 series it must be pretty good! I'll give this a shot, thank you for posting it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:19 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Nice post! I'm a fan of Peep Show so I look forward to these...
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:21 PM on July 29


Nice post! I've been a fan of this show for ages. The format was invented by Graeme Garden from the Goodies (and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, etc), who is often on the show himself.
posted by w0mbat at 5:28 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


oh my goodness this sounds amazong
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:39 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


I am so enthusiastic about the premise that I cannot spell
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:39 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


It was also produced as a TV series here in Australia.

I wasn't wild about that adaptation but then I've never been big on The Chaser. As for the radio show however - yes it is definitely amazong.
posted by dumbland at 5:40 PM on July 29


Holy crap, what an amazing post! I had been dragging my feet on figuring out how to listen to this so...thanks for completely ruining my excuse.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:47 PM on July 29


Paging Hal Hartley.
posted by irrelephant at 5:53 PM on July 29


This sounds fun. Like two truths and a lie, which has always been my favorite icebreaker game. (The secret, though, is that it's actually the most fun to play with people you know well. Close friends, partners... the stories that come out when people have to scrape for things you don't already know are fascinating.)
posted by geegollygosh at 5:55 PM on July 29


Oh, bless you, Lexica.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:08 PM on July 29


i was lying it was not cheese it was petrol the entire time
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:19 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


I have been listening to this for the last few weeks (having recently been through QI from start to finish). One of my favourite bits -- from S7E01 -- is an exchange between Alan Davies and David Mitchell after Alan had been distracted by an offhand reference to Starbucks:
AD:"Is it true that Starbuck was the character in Moby-Dick who liked coffee?
DM:"I don't know. I think you are used to working with Stephen Fry."
They immediately return to the subject at hand but this is followed maybe ten minutes later when Alan mentions an elephant from decades ago:
DM:"Is the elephant still alive?"
AD: "Dunno. Stephen would know if he was here."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:20 PM on July 29 [4 favorites]


For those seeking even more David Mitchell, here's a collection of a few of his rants from the fantastic, Stephen Fry-hosted panel show QI, his Soapbox podcast, and finally, the classic SS Officer sketch from "That Mitchell and Webb Look"
posted by chambers at 6:22 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


I binged on the first dozen or so seasons of this a year back, it's really great, Mitchell is just whip-smart, though some of the guests can be pretty iffy.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:22 PM on July 29


Mitchell is just whip-smart

Stephen Fry once said something memorable on QI about Mitchell's style of hotly shooting down of poorly-thought-out reasoning. To honour this, the gf and I refer to The Unbelievable Truth as The Angry Logic Show.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:35 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


TUT has been the dinner-making soundtrack chez Lexica et moi for some time now.

It's fully awesome.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:43 PM on July 29


I love that in the UK there's apparently an entire entertainment industry built around people sitting around being witty with just the flimsiest premise to hold the whole thing together.
posted by synecdoche at 7:02 PM on July 29 [17 favorites]


"Would I Lie To You?" is a big hit in our house, if only for the segments where they bring on somebody and the panel has to guess who they're really connected to in real life. The scenarios they come up with for Mitchell are almost always plausible in an insane way. "This is Dave, I bought a year's worth of batteries from him off of the internet."
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:15 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


I love that in the UK there's apparently an entire entertainment industry built around people sitting around being witty with just the flimsiest premise to hold the whole thing together.

I envy that, and indeed seek it out when neither the BBC nor any networks in North America seem inclined to provide this to me.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:27 PM on July 29


Luckily, people have realized that the way to get the most out of David Mitchell is to give him a foil — someone whose thoughts go off in weird directions so that Mitchell can react to it with his trademarked angry logic. Lee Mack is probably the best at this (on Would I Lie To You), but whenever Henning Wehn guests on this show it ends up going somewhere hilarious.

Here's the beginning of a segment which ends with Mitchell grilling the German on his football assertions.
posted by savetheclocktower at 7:32 PM on July 29 [5 favorites]


I like when David Mitchell's foil is someone a bit too proud of being clever, like Jimmy Carr, because you can clearly see the moment the ego deflates when Mitchell is cleverer.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:00 PM on July 29 [3 favorites]


I love that in the UK there's apparently an entire entertainment industry built around people sitting around being witty with just the flimsiest premise to hold the whole thing together.

I feel like podcasts are kind of this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:04 PM on July 29


I'mma let you finish, but David Mitchell angry logicking Kevin Bridges on WILTY is the bestest thing ever.
posted by axiom at 8:04 PM on July 29 [8 favorites]


If you like QI, TUT is right up you alley.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:14 PM on July 29


One thing I like about Would I Lie to You? is that David and Lee are actually roughly equally matched. David is incredibly good at making lies sound vaguely true, to the point where they regularly give him ludicrously difficult stuff that requires him to make up point-by-point plans for surviving in prison on the spot. Lee is pretty crummy at that part of the game, but he is very good at making true things sound like lies through an impressive ability to play dumb and feign vague confusion. Thanks to the structure of the game, these two skills are roughly equally valuable, and although David's is more impressive, there is a definite mastery to the way Lee stumbles his way through half-remembered anecdotes so blindly that it seems obvious it's made up, only for it to come up true.

Having one guy acting as dumb as he possibly can and another acting as smart as he possibly can also has the advantage of making them great foils.
posted by Copronymus at 8:15 PM on July 29 [12 favorites]


"I hope to God these poor fellows are gardeners!"
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:20 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


My favourite moment from this show: David Mitchell and John Finnemore sharing a moment of civil engineering history geekiness.
posted by wachhundfisch at 11:09 PM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Thou art God.
posted by flabdablet at 11:53 PM on July 29


This is a fun little show. I liked the observation somewhere by the Sitcom geek that panel shows (succesful ones at least) are usually based on having these "characters": see Hislop and Merton on Have I got News for You.

I do like panel shows, but they also make me a little sad, as they seem to eat up a lot of the attention that original sitcoms and sketch shows might get. Especially topical panel shows, which have the same 5 jokes they rely on each week. At least more themed shows require some inventiveness by their contestants.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:45 AM on July 30


I agree with Cannon Fodder, much as I enjoy panel shows I do wish that more inventive comedy was being created on 'the home of comedy', Radio 4.
posted by asok at 2:56 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I am really enjoying the first episode. Very early on Neil Mullarkey completely breaks David Mitchell. Any program where the host has to desperately admonish a panelist with "The buzzer is a privilege, not a right!" in the first ten minutes is a program I can get behind.
posted by Spatch at 5:11 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


This is where I get to link to that Mitchell and Webb Sound! I've been listening to it at work at it's great!
posted by Carillon at 8:40 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


The link to part 2 of Series 4 Episode 1 is broken. :7(
posted by wenestvedt at 11:13 AM on July 30


I've been listening to this show for a while and I've never been disappointed. I have a strong preference for Would I Lie to You, though.

One more David Mitchell show: 10:00 Clock Live. You get to see Jimmy Carr in some utterly ridiculous costumes.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 12:38 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Not to go too far off tangent but for all you Radio 4 heads if you have not watched already check out the vastly underated Jake Yapp's Radio 4 in 4 minutes. His other videos are superb too especially Sunday Brunch.
posted by numberstation at 4:54 AM on July 31


Not to go too far off tangent but for all you Radio 4 heads if you have not watched already check out the vastly underated Jake Yapp's Radio 4 in 4 minutes .

Previously...
posted by Cannon Fodder at 6:16 AM on July 31


Whoops. Sorry about that. I have been on hiatus from metafilter for a long time.
posted by numberstation at 6:54 AM on July 31


I absolutely love the one where John Finnemore tries to confuse everyone by speaking in a Russian accent for his entire lecture. Helps, of course, that I also love his other work, like Cabin Pressure. (Yellow car!)
posted by undue influence at 3:22 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


No worries, I just thought I might as well link my own fpp, given the opportunity!
posted by Cannon Fodder at 3:41 AM on August 1


I love this show. Favorite moments are whenever Lucy Porter wins handily (I think she does a similar logic-it-through style to David Mitchell's) and whenever Henning Wehn claims that his subject was invented by Jesus, and John Finnemore's turn about Boris Johnson might have been my favorite of all the lectures, but my absolute favorite episode is Series 10, Episode 4 (gambling, turtles, teeth, and lemons), because of the running joke about whether or not David knows any hippies and the absolute sputtering that occurs when he considers whether brothels have bells.

Awesome post!
posted by mixedmetaphors at 4:46 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


A broad spectrum of these are linked as mp3s here . A little easier for listening in the car.
posted by jcm at 12:58 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Am I imagining it, or in Season 2 ep 5, does it really sound like the rest of the panel can't stand Michael McIntyre?

I've heard a few comedians being very cutting about his work before, but to me that episode really sounds like they have a personal problem with him that they're trying to cover.
posted by metaBugs at 2:44 PM on August 8


So I know this was from a while ago but I found the New Year's Special.
posted by Carillon at 11:41 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]


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