The Unbelievable Truth

The Unbelievable Truth

Infobox Radio Show
show_name = The Unbelievable Truth

imagesize =
caption =
other_names =
format = Panel game
runtime = 30 minutes
country = United Kingdom
language = English
home_station = BBC Radio 4
syndicates =
television =
starring = David Mitchell
creator = Graeme Garden
Jon Naismith
writer = Iain Pattinson (Chairman's script)
producer = Jon Naismith
executive_producer =
narrated =
record_location = Shaw Theatre, London
first_aired = 19 October 2006
last_aired =
num_series = 2 and a pilot
num_episodes = 13
audio_format =
opentheme = My Patch by Jim Noir
endtheme =
website = [ BBC Homepage]
podcast =

"The Unbelievable Truth" is a BBC radio comedy panel game devised by Graeme Garden and Jon Naismith. [Radio Times, 14-20th October 2006] The game is chaired by David Mitchell and is described in the programme's introduction as, "The panel game built on truth and lies." The object of the game is to lie on a subject, whilst also trying to include the truth without being detected. The series was first broadcast as a pilot on 19 October 2006, [cite web|url=|title=The Unbelievable Truth|publisher=BBC|language=English|accessdate=2007-09-10] with the first actual series broadcast on 23 April 2007. [cite web|url=|title=The Unbelievable Truth|publisher=BBC|language=English|accessdate=2007-09-10]


The panel is made up of four players. In the game each of the panellists is given a subject. The panellist then must give a short lecture about it. Most of the lecture, however, is composed of lies, but during the course of their speech the lecturer must try to smuggle through five true facts. The challenging panellists must buzz in when they believe that what the lecturer is saying is true. They must state what they believe the fact was. If it was true, the challenger is awarded one point. If it was a lie, then they are deducted one point. One point is given to the lecturer for each truth they smuggle in without it being detected at the end of the lecture. The winner is the panellist with the most points. [cite episode|title=Pilot|series=The Unbelievable Truth|airdate=2006-10-19]

Technically, the highest score any panellist can get is 20 points. [Five points for successfully smuggling all their truths in their lecture, and fifteen for spotting all the truths in every other panellist's lecture, without making any incorrect challenges.] However, nobody has reached this score yet.


The reaction to show was mixed. Many reviews praised Mitchell's presentation of the programme, saying, "Mitchell’s quick, intelligent wit gives it an edge that it would otherwise lack."cite web|last=Widdicombe|first=Henry|url=|title=The Unbelievable Truth|publisher=Such Small Portions|language=English|date=2007-04-23|accessdate=2007-09-10] However, critics have complained that the programme is "Too scripted" and would benefit from more improvisation. One review said, "However most of the programme is essentially listening to four rather silly pre-scripted stories, as if it's story time at primary school, and as such the real facts are often rather easy to spot in comparison. It may have been more dangerous fun if the contestants were supplied with their facts to be smuggled just before going on air, to allow even the pretence of some improvisation." [cite web|url=|title=The Unbelievable Truth|publisher=UK Game|language=English|accessdate=2007-09-10]



External links

* [ BBC homepage of show]
* [ Episode Guide]

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