Rex Factor

Rex Factor

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Rex Factor is a light-hearted look at all the kings and queens of England and Scotland. One by one we review every monarch by a number of factors - success in battle, notoriety, justice - before giving them our final judgement and deciding whether th...Show More
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S2.18 Macbeth

1:09:56 | Nov 8th, 2015

Yes, Macbeth was a real king! But, was he the murderous, tyrannical villain as depicted by Shakespeare or has the bard done the real-life Macbeth a disservice? In this episode, we look at Shakespeare's version of Macbeth before considering the real l...Show More
S3.05 Eadgifu of Kent

59:53 | May 3rd

Eadgifu of Kent was the second consort to Edward the Elder, but it was as the mother of kings that her influence would truly be felt, demonstrating the potential opportunities that existed for consorts whose sons succeeded to the throne. Eadgifu achi...Show More
S3.04 Ælfflæd

59:59 | Apr 15th

Ælfflæd was the second consort of Wessex/England and like her predecessor, Ealhswith, struggling against an opposition to consorts being granted power. However, succession struggles for both her husband and sons provides an opportunity for her to ass...Show More
S3.03 Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians

59:59 | Apr 5th

Æthelflæd is one of the most remarkable and unfairly forgotten figures in English history. The eldest child of Alfred the Great and Ealhswith, she became consort to the Lord of the Mercians but really came to prominence after his death when she took ...Show More
S3.02 Ealhswith

59:59 | Mar 29th

We get the third series properly underway with out first consort: Ealhswith, who married King Alfred the Great. Biographical information is not extensive for Ealhswith, but we piece it all together and then find out from Alfred himself exactly why Ea...Show More
S3.01 Consort Introduction and Agrippina

1:17:38 | Mar 16th

Welcome to Series 3 of Rex Factor! This time we will be reviewing all the Queen and Prince Consorts of England from Ealhswith to Prince Philip. In this introductory episode, we explain how we will be reviewing consorts (as opposed to monarchs) in eac...Show More
Battle of the Queens (Live)

1:49:12 | Mar 1st

In our final live show of November 2018 we were in Glasgow for the Battle of the Queens where Mary Queen of Scots took on Elizabeth I, Queen of England. They were rivals in life but who would be the victor in history?
Battle of the Saxons (Live)

1:32:49 | Feb 22nd

In our penultimate live show we came to Manchester for the Battle of the Saxons where Alfred the Great took on his grandson, Athelstan, to see which of these two Saxon kings truly deserves the epithet 'great'.
Battle of the So-Called Baddies (Live)

1:36:53 | Feb 15th

It was the turn of the baddies for our live show in Leeds with John taking on Richard III in a bid to be crowned England's best baddy of the monarchs. But do either of these much-maligned kings really deserve their reputations or are they good guys i...Show More
Battle of the Raucous Royals (Live)

1:03:39 | Feb 8th

Ali's scandal bell was getting a good workout in our live show in Oxford as Charles II competed against George IV in the Battle of the Raucous Royals. Both kings got up to plenty of high jinks but who was the most scandalicious of all?
Battle of the Favourites (Live)

1:38:31 | Feb 1st

In the second of our live shows in 2018, we had the Battle of the Favourites - Ali's favourite (Edward I) vs. Graham's favourite (Henry VIII). All pretence of neutrality went out of the window but who would the good people of Bristol vote as the winn...Show More
Battle of the Champions (Live)

1:38:31 | Jan 25th

In November 2018, Rex Factor went on its first ever live tour, starting with this recording in London where we did the Battle of the Champions - Henry II (champion of the English monarchs) vs. Robert the Bruce (champion of the Scots). We present the ...Show More
A Royal Christmas Special

1:59:54 | Dec 21st, 2018

Originally planned for 2016, we have finally made a Christmas Special! From Alfred the Great to Elizabeth II, we take a stroll through history and see what some of our favourite monarchs were getting up to at Christmas - be it writing carols, ice ska...Show More
The Making of the Animated Show

51:11 | Aug 31st, 2018

Excitingly, the pilot episode of Rex Factor: The Animated Show (crowdfunded by our wonderful listeners) is soon to be released! Ahead of the show's release on 12 September, we spoke to Tom Sanders and Mike Foster of Tinmouse Animation about how this ...Show More
Live Tour Announcement 2018

10:04 | Aug 24th, 2018

Hugely exciting news - Rex Factor is going on tour! This November (2018) we will be doing 6 dates in the UK where we bring the podcast into the live arena! We explain the details in this short news update but tickets are available now from this websi...Show More
Animated Show Update and Special Episode Previews

24:20 | Aug 20th, 2018

With the second series of the podcast complete, it's time for some news about Rex Factor: The Animated Show! There will be a new sizzle trailer coming out on 22 August with the finished show to follow in September, along with news of the premiere! Al...Show More
Warwick Castle and Guy of Warwick

1:25:16 | Jul 20th, 2018

Rex Factor were lucky enough to be invited to spend a weekend at Warwick Castle - unfortunately, Ali was unlucky enough to fall ill, so in this special episode Graham tells an envious Ali everything he missed. Plus, we have our first ever interviews ...Show More
S2.52 Scottish Grand Final Results

50:28 | Jul 13th, 2018

It's the final episode of the second series of Rex Factor as we reveal who will be crowned the Scottish Rex Factor Champion - Constantine II, Robert the Bruce, James IV or Mary Queen of Scots. We also reveal the winner of the best death in the series...Show More
S2.51 Scottish Play-Offs: Grand Final

1:29:54 | Jun 3rd, 2018

Our second series is nearly over - it's the Scottish Rex Factor Grand Final and we need to decide who will be crowned the champion. However, Ali and Graham don't get to vote this time, so it's entirely down to you to pick the winner! Your candidates ...Show More
S2.50 Scottish Playoffs: First Round Results

1:12:29 | May 14th, 2018

We reveal the results of the first round of the Scottish Play-Offs - find out who will join top seed Robert the Bruce in the Grand Final from Group A (Constantine II, Malcolm III, Alexander III, James II), Group B (Kenneth II, Malcolm II, David I, Ja...Show More
S2.49 Scottish Playoffs: Group C

1:31:14 | Apr 13th, 2018

It's the last of the play-off groups and one of the tastiest yet! We have our very first monarch, Kenneth MacAlpin (843-58) against our very last, James VI (1567-1625), as well as James VI facing off against his own mother, Mary Queen of Scots (1542-...Show More
S2.48 Scottish Playoffs: Group B

1:21:47 | Mar 30th, 2018

It's another heavyweight contest in the second of our play-off bouts: Kenneth II (971-95), Malcolm II (1005-35), David I (1124-53) and James IV (1488-1513). There's the enticing prospect of a father/son battle with Kenneth II (killed by an elaborate ...Show More
S2.47 Scottish Play-Offs: Group A

1:19:14 | Mar 23rd, 2018

The Scottish Rex Factor play-offs kick off in style with Constantine II (900-43), Malcolm III (1058-93), Alexander III (1249-86) and James II (1437-60) do battle for a place in the Grand Final. Listen to the episode to hear the four monarchs compared...Show More
S2.46 Scottish Play-Off Draw

37:12 | Mar 16th, 2018

We have reviewed all the Kings and Queens of Scots from Kenneth MacAlpin to James VI and found 13 Rex Factor winners, but who was the greatest of them all? In this episode, we explain our play-off system and make the draw to see which monarchs will b...Show More
Rex Factor on The Young ‘Uns Podcast

0:00 | Feb 23rd, 2018

Ali and Graham had a great time a few months back as the guests on the podcast of the highly acclaimed, award-winning folk group The Young ‘Uns in front of a live audience and now you can hear the results! We talk about Rex Factor, history, do a hist...Show More
S2.45 James VI (I of England)

1:30:39 | Feb 16th, 2018

For the first time ever, we review a monarch for the second time! James VI is the last monarch in our Scottish series, coming to the throne in the midst of his civil war with his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, trying to reclaim her throne. Scotland is ...Show More
S2.44 Mary Queen of Scots: Review

1:19:05 | Nov 27th, 2017

Mary Queen of Scots had one of the most dramatic lives and reigns (and, unusually, post-reigns) in Scottish history, taking in a French upbringing, the Reformation, three husbands, civil war and English imprisonment. But when this is all put together...Show More
S2.43 Mary Queen of Scots: Biography (Part 2/2)

1:10:35 | Nov 17th, 2017

In our first episode, Mary had escaped Henry VIII, briefly been Queen Consort of France and ruled pretty successfully as Queen of Scots. By 1565, she had married the dashing Lord Darnley (who, like Mary, had a claim to the English throne) and seen of...Show More
S2.42 Mary Queen of Scots: Biography (Part 1/2)

1:18:10 | Nov 10th, 2017

Mary Queen of Scots is one of (if not the) most famous names in Scottish and British history, and with good reason. A dramatic reign that began when she was only six days old which saw her and Scotland dragged into international conflicts between Eng...Show More
S2.41 James V

1:18:48 | Sep 29th, 2017

Scotland's imagination in naming royal babies had really run out by 1513 when the fifth successive became king. At just 17 months old, and following the disaster of Flodden, once again it would be tricky for the new king to make his mark. Would James...Show More
Kickstart News and Special Previews

31:55 | Sep 5th, 2017

We reveal the (amazing) results of our Kickstarter campaign and share some clips from our recent special episodes on Brunel, Boudica and Tea.
S2.40 James IV

1:19:18 | Aug 14th, 2017

For the fourth time in a row, Scotland has a minority under a king named James. However, James IV is older than his predecessors and shows a lot of promise as a charming and gifted Renaissance king who proves a highly effective ruler in Scotland and ...Show More
Rex Factor Kickstarter Appeal

13:09 | Aug 10th, 2017

Rex Factor needs your help! All through August 2017 we are doing a Kickstarter to fund the production of the pilot episode of Rex Factor the Animated Show, an animated version of the podcast produced by the brilliant Tinmouse Animation Studios. We ne...Show More
S2.39 James III

1:18:02 | Jul 14th, 2017

In 1460, for the third time in a row, the new Scottish king was a boy called James. Unlike his predecessors, however, there were no overmighty nobles or domineering family members to contend with and England was in the throes of the Wars of the Roses...Show More
S2.38 James II (of Scots)

1:15:17 | May 31st, 2017

Like his father, James II came to the throne as a child and faced an uncertain minority with rival factions at war with each other. Also like his father, James was a ruthless and vigorous ruler, determined to establish the Stewart dynasty as supreme ...Show More
S2.37 James I (of Scots)

1:17:50 | May 12th, 2017

After a century of weak rulers and a divided family, the omens looked bad for James I: his uncle, Albany, was in charge of Scotland while he was just a child in an English prison. However, James would prove a more forceful character than his recent p...Show More
Project Zeus

10:09 | Apr 17th, 2017

If you've been following us on our social media recently, you'll know we've been teasing you about a new project codenamed #projectzeus - well, finally we can reveal what it's all about!
S2.36 Robert III

1:18:09 | Mar 24th, 2017

For the last century, the problem for Scotland's monarchs was a lack of male heirs. In 1386, there were too many! Robert III was in his fifties and in poor health meaning his first brother, the Earl of Fife, was effectively running the country while ...Show More
S2.35 Robert II

1:15:28 | Mar 10th, 2017

The accession of Robert II in 1371 marks the start of the royal Stewart dynasty in Scotland. In some ways, Robert had much more going for him than David - plenty of sons, Edward III in his old age (then Richard II in his minority) meant he was able t...Show More
S2.34 David II

1:18:20 | Feb 3rd, 2017

After the glories of Robert the Bruce, there was a lot to live up to for David II - which would not be easy, given that he was only a few years old, facing an adult dynastic rival in the form of Edward Balliol and a resurgent England under the mighty...Show More
S2.33 Robert the Bruce

1:19:59 | Jan 20th, 2017

Things have been torrid for Scotland under the rule of England's Edward I, but finally there is hope in the form of Robert the Bruce (and, frankly, in Edward II). Will this legend of Scottish history - the king of Bannockburn and the Declaration of A...Show More
News and Previews

40:56 | Jan 7th, 2017

We're back! Apologies for the absence but as you'll find out we have a very good reason. Our next episode on Robert the Bruce will be a biggie so we thought it would be better to get a quick episode out to update you on our news, including the launch...Show More
S2.32 William Wallace

1:17:27 | Nov 18th, 2016

Scotland was a conquered country in 1296, but if Edward I thought the Scots would go quietly then he had another thing coming! Almost from nowhere, William Wallace stepped onto the scene and led the resistance against English rule, becoming Guardian ...Show More
Aragorn (Lord of the Rings)

2:19:43 | Nov 4th, 2016

In a one-off bumper edition special episode we review Aragorn (AKA Strider, Elessar, etc.), one of the main characters in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. As a special birthday request, we decided to give Aragorn the usual Rex Factor treatment meted out ...Show More
S2.31 John Balliol

1:10:23 | Oct 19th, 2016

After being chosen to be King of Scots in 1292, John Balliol had a tough job on his hands. He had not been raised for kingship, the nobility were divided and, most worryingly of all, Edward I of England had established himself as feudal lord of Scotl...Show More
S2.30 Margaret the Maid of Norway (The Great Cause)

1:14:04 | Sep 26th, 2016

A largely forgotten figure in Scottish history, Margaret the Maid of Norway's "reign" would be a pivotal turning point in Scottish history. After Alexander III died in accident in 1286 without an heir, his only descendent was Margaret, his three year...Show More
S2.29 Alexander III

1:12:04 | Aug 18th, 2016

Alexander III was only just approaching 8 years when his father died in 1249, resulting in a divisive minority and the king of England, Henry III, playing an increasingly strong role in Scottish affairs. As king, Alexander would need to restore order...Show More
S2.28 Alexander II

1:11:31 | Jul 22nd, 2016

Alexander II seems to have been something of a man on mission, determined to remove all the grey areas in Scotland by imposing his authority across the whole country. Previously rebellious or non-Scottish areas like Moray, Caithness and Galloway were...Show More
Graham Interviewed by Podbean

0:00 | Jul 20th, 2016

While Ali was off sailing, Graham was interviewed by Jen Crawford from Podbean’s Podcasting Smarter podcast, talking about Rex Factor, how the show is put together, crowdfunding and, of course, remembering to #RememberAed. Click here to listen.
S2.27 William the Lion

1:13:32 | Jun 16th, 2016

William the Lion's life and reign was defined when as a teenager in 1157 he had the earldom of Northumbria taken away by Henry II. From then on, it was his life's ambition to get it back but he had the mighty Plantagenets standing in his way. With tr...Show More
S2.26 Malcolm IV

1:01:15 | May 9th, 2016

After the successful reign of David ended in 1153 with Scotland in possession of most of northern England, Scotland was at the peak of its medieval powers. Unfortunately, the new king was a 12 year-old boy faced with numerous regional threats and an ...Show More
S2.25 David I

1:11:52 | Apr 25th, 2016

David came to the throne in 1124 as the last of Malcolm III and Saint Margaret's six sons following a period of internal fighting and short reigns. However, unlike his brothers, David had luck on his side. He won favour and wealth in England as a pro...Show More
S2.24 Alexander I

1:06:15 | Mar 18th, 2016

Alexander's peaceful succession in 1107 marked a move away from the chaos of the preceding decade of internal conflict but that's not to say that Alexander himself would have an easy time of it. Pressured by his younger brother, David, and the powerf...Show More
S2.23 Edgar

59:47 | Feb 19th, 2016

The death of Malcolm III in 1093 led to something of a succession crisis in Scotland and by 1097, Malcolm's brother (Donalbain) and one of his sons (Duncan II) had not done a very good job of ruling the country. Next up was Edgar, backed by the Engli...Show More
S2. 22 Duncan II

44:00 | Feb 5th, 2016

The death of Malcolm III and his queen, Margaret of Wessex, sent Scotland back into the chaos of dynastic conflict. Malcolm's brother, Donaldbain, stole the throne in 1093 but there were many sons of Malcolm ready to challenge him and first up was Du...Show More
S2.21 Donald III (Donaldbain)

1:04:18 | Jan 22nd, 2016

The death of Malcolm III in 1093 (as well as his son and queen) left a power vacuum in Scotland. Despite having 5 sons, it was Malcolm's brother, Donald III (Donaldbain in Shakespeare's Macbeth), who decided to take advantage and steal the throne. Af...Show More
S2.20 Malcolm III

1:09:48 | Dec 18th, 2015

With the reign of Malcolm III, Scotland emerges from the dark ages and into the chaos of 1066 and the Norman Conquest of England. With his marriage to the Saxon princess (and future saint) Margaret, Malcolm is set on a collision course with the Norma...Show More
S2.19 Lulach

43:28 | Nov 23rd, 2015

Macbeth's death at the hands of the future Malcolm III did not mark the end of the Moray dynasty, for into the breach stepped Lulach. Sandwiched between two of the more notable of Scotland's medieval monarchs and equipped with a less than flattering ...Show More
S2.17 Duncan I

57:12 | Oct 9th, 2015

William Shakespeare portrayed Duncan as a good, kind and elderly king murdered by the scheming Macbeth in his bed. But was this the true story? After Malcolm II wiped out most of his family tree to ensure that Duncan would succeed him as King of Scot...Show More
S2.16 Malcolm II

59:53 | Sep 28th, 2015

A decade after the assassination of his father, Kenneth II, Malcolm II finally came to the throne in 1005. Faced with enemies from within his own family, the territory of Moray and the presence in England of the most powerful man in Europe, Cnut, thi...Show More
S2.15 Kenneth III

36:42 | Sep 18th, 2015

The dynastic conflict continues in Scotland when Kenneth III comes to the throne in 997. Team Red is no more but Kenneth (Team Purple) still has to face the challenge of Malcolm (Team Blue) to hold on to the throne. Find out who comes out on top in t...Show More
S2. 14 Constantine III

38:34 | Sep 11th, 2015

After the stability of Kenneth II, in 995 Constantine III usurped the throne and restarted the dynastic conflict of the Alpin dynasty. Scotland now had three men vying for the throne: Constantine III (Team Red), Malcolm (Team Blue) and Kenneth (Team ...Show More
S2.13 Kenneth II

59:45 | Aug 30th, 2015

The dynastic conflict at the heart of the Scottish monarchy continues with Kenneth II's accession in 971. Kenneth (Team Blue) is taking on Olaf (Team Red) in a bid to win dominance, but will Kenneth be able to succeed where the previous monarchs have...Show More
S2.12 Cuilean

30:59 | Aug 10th, 2015

The dynastic warfare continues in Scotland, with Cuilean usurping the throne in 967. The rival branches of the Scottish royal family continue to dispute the throne and the violence continues. Will Cuilean be able to deliver a good reign for team red ...Show More
S2.11 Dubh

33:00 | Jul 31st, 2015

Dubh (or Duff) comes to the throne in 962 and marks the beginning of a period of dynastic conflict in Scotland. The system of an alternating succession has made family ties rather distant and rival claimants rather numerous, and Dubh must taken on hi...Show More
S2.10 Indulf

39:53 | Jul 17th, 2015

Indulf became the King of Scots in 962 and while there is not a lot written about him, there's quite a bit for us to get our teeth into. Edinburgh, Vikings and an unintentionally amusing account of Indulf's demise all await...
S2.9 Malcolm I

59:04 | Jul 3rd, 2015

Malcolm has to wait a long time to become king and when Constantine II finally abdicates in 943, there's a lot going on. The death of the Saxon king Athelstan has left a power vacuum in Northumbria and Malcolm is very much at the centre of events, ma...Show More
S2.8 Constantine II

59:57 | Jun 8th, 2015

After a succession of short and unsuccessful reigns, Constantine II's reign would be crucial in the formation of the Scottish nation. Coming to the throne in 900, his intray included a country still divided by internal strife, facing invasion from th...Show More
S2.7 Donald II

29:21 | May 7th, 2015

After the Alpin dynasty was sent packing by Giric and/or Eochaid, it came roaring back in 889 with Donald II, winning back the throne after a decade in Irish exile. However, it's one thing to defeat Giric but there are still the tricky issue of Vikin...Show More
S2.6 Giric and/or Eochaid

29:18 | Apr 9th, 2015

After the memorably unmemorable reign of Aed (#RememberAed) came to  an end in 878, things get rather uncertain in Scotland. So, this week we review Giric...or Eochaid...or is it Giric AND Eochaid? Who is really wearing the crown and will they deserv...Show More
S2.5 Aed

19:08 | Mar 15th, 2015

The year 877 was not an easy time for Aed to come to the throne. After a decade of Viking raids, Aed's brother, Constantine I, had been killed and the kingdom was in a precarious position. It would take a strong and skillful ruler to overcome such di...Show More
S2.4 Constantine I

59:47 | Feb 28th, 2015

It's Vikings o'clock in this episode, with saga legends like Olaf the White, Ivar the Boneless and the Sons of Ragnar swarming across Britain. The Great Heathen Army of the 860s-70s has its mind on conquest and the action is ceaseless across Ireland,...Show More
S2.3 Donald I

32:02 | Feb 12th, 2015

After Kenneth MacAlpin started a new, Scottish dynasty in wake of a Pictish defeat to the Vikings, it was left to his brother, Donald I, to carry on where he left off. Donald seems largely to have done this but sadly the annals of history have not fo...Show More
S2.2 Kenneth MacAlpin

59:52 | Jan 25th, 2015

The new series starts properly in this episode as review our first monarch, Kenneth MacAlpin. After the leading Picts were wiped out by the Vikings in 839, Kenneth emerged from the murky past to take the throne of both the Picts and the Scots. But Ke...Show More
S2.1 Scottish Backgroundy Stuff

1:03:22 | Jan 12th, 2015

Rex Factor is back! After reviewing all the monarchs of England, now we turn our attention to Scotland. Before we get onto the kings and queens, however, we provide some background to the history of Scotland: stone houses, Hadrian's Wall, Vikings, Sa...Show More
Questions and Answers (Part 2/2)

50:03 | Oct 3rd, 2014

In the second part of our question and answers podcast, we continue to answer the questions sent in to us by the audience. Next time, we'll be back with a new series on the kings and queens of Scotland from Kenneth MacAlpin to James VI.
Questions and Answers (Part 1/2)

53:28 | Sep 21st, 2014

While we get ourselves prepared for the new series of Rex Factor (the Kings and Queens of Scotland), we invited you to send in any questions you have about us, the podcast, or history in general. We wanted to get through as many questions as possible...Show More
Ask Us Anything

06:02 | Aug 27th, 2014

Rex Factor will soon be returning for a new series reviewing all the Kings and Queens of Scotland but before we start the new series, we're going to have a Question and Answers podcast to bridge the gap. This is your chance to ask us any questions yo...Show More
78. The Grand Final Results

47:41 | Aug 2nd, 2014

So, after four years we have finally reached the conclusion. The votes have all been counted, the results are in.We have reviewed all the kings and queens of England from Alfred the Great to Elizabeth II and you have voted for who you want to win. In...Show More
77. The Grand Final

1:04:38 | Jul 1st, 2014

After four years reviewing all the kings and queens of England from Alfred the Great to Elizabeth II we have reached the end - the Grand Final. The three contenders for the Rex Factor crown are Alfred the Great (the founding father), Henry II (the Pl...Show More
76. The Semi-Final Results

51:29 | Jun 14th, 2014

We're almost at the end - the Semi-Finals feature 9 of the 18 Rex Factor winning monarchs but after this just three will make it through to the Grand Final. Listen now to find out who is still standing, with sword held aloft, on the Rex Factor mounta...Show More
75. Play-Offs: Semi-Final C

1:16:50 | May 27th, 2014

In the third and final semi-final, our very first monarch, Alfred the Great, is up against the two Edwards - grandfather and grandson, Edward I and Edward III. But who deserves a place in the final? Will it be Alfred for saving Anglo-Saxon England fr...Show More
74. Play-Offs: Semi-Final B

1:16:16 | May 12th, 2014

Semi-Final B sees a fascinating mix of characters: the pious, all-conquering Saxon and first king of all England, Athelstan; the relentless, zealous, French-conquering hero of Agincourt, Henry V, and the vibrant splendour of a Tudor golden age in Eli...Show More
73. Play-Offs: Semi-Final A

1:09:49 | Apr 25th, 2014

Things are hotting up now in the play-offs as we move on to the semi-finals. Semi-Final A is a real humdinger, with the top scoring monarch in Henry II up against two of the most iconic figures in Henry VIII and Queen Victoria. This time only one wil...Show More
72. The First Round Results

46:12 | Apr 11th, 2014

Things get real in the play-offs as 9 of the 18 Rex Factor winners are eliminated from the competition. The results are revealed for Groups A, B and C in the first round - the scores from Ali, Graham and the combined votes of the public at large will...Show More
71. Play-Offs: Group C

1:28:45 | Mar 17th, 2014

In the last of the first round ties, Group C is a fascinating battle between medieval (William the Conqueror, Edward III & Henry V) vs. the modern (William IV, Victoria & George V). William conquered England after the Battle of Hastings, while Edward...Show More
70. Play-Offs: Group B

1:29:11 | Mar 8th, 2014

Group B is a heavyweight affair of empires and conquerors. Cnut, a Viking, is one of a very small number of leaders to have conquered England, as well as presiding over a North Sea Empire, Henry II established the Angevin Empire (England and the 'lef...Show More
69. Play-Offs: Group A

1:28:05 | Mar 1st, 2014

So the play-offs finally begin. There are three rounds and in the opening round we have three groups of six, which for Group A consists of Alfred the Great, Athelstan, Henry I, Edward IV, Henry VIII & Charles II. In this episode, we look at all the m...Show More
Dynasty - Vote Now!

0:00 | Feb 21st, 2014

Ahead of recording the play-off episodes, we’re having a trial run for how the voting will work. Before you have to decide on your favourite monarchs, have a think about which is your favourite dynasty. Do you prefer the early, nation-building days ...Show More
68. The Play-Off Draw

24:55 | Feb 11th, 2014

After 67 episodes, three and a half years and numerous broken bones (all belonging to Ali) we have reviewed all the Kings and Queens of England from Alfred the Great to Elizabeth II. We were left with 18 monarchs standing tall and proud atop the Rex ...Show More
67. Elizabeth II: The Review (Part 3/3)

1:26:14 | Dec 22nd, 2013

After three years we finally complete the journey "From Alfred the Great to Elizabeth the Second" as in this episode we review the reign of Elizabeth II. Given that the Queen is still reigning, these are effectively provisional scores as we don't yet...Show More
66. Elizabeth II: 1953-2013 (Part 2/3)

1:16:14 | Dec 5th, 2013

The Queen was just 27 years old when she was crowned in 1953 and in this episode we look at her life and reign from 1953 to the present day - history becomes the present! This episode takes us from the glitz and glamour of the 1950s and her tour of t...Show More
65. Elizabeth II: 1926-53 (Part 1/3)

1:12:06 | Nov 19th, 2013

From Alfred the Great to Elizabeth II - as Rex Factor's journey through the monarchs of England reaches its close, we finally come to THE Queen! In the first of three episodes, we examine the biography of Princess Elizabeth up to and including her co...Show More
New Episodes Coming Soon

0:00 | Nov 13th, 2013

Hi everyone, just a quick note to say thank you very much to everyone who sent in kind messages for Ali. I’m happy to report that he’s now much better and we’re going to start recording Elizabeth II next week, so stick with us and we’ll be back soon!
History According to Ali

1:06:04 | Oct 4th, 2013

While Ali continues to recuperate from his bicycle injury, some Rex Factor fans have provided something to fill the audio void: History According to Ali. Trawling through every episode of Rex Factor, they have picked out some of Ali's best moments an...Show More
On Hold

04:13 | Aug 28th, 2013

Unfortunately a nasty bike accident for Ali means that there's a bit of a delay in reviewing Queen Elizabeth II.I'm sure you'll all want to wish Ali well and if you want to send him a message then you can contact us in the following ways:email - rexf...Show More
64. Sweyn Forkbeard

1:16:39 | Jul 8th, 2013

This week on Rex Factor we put right what once went wrong and step back 1,000 years in history to review England's first Viking ruler, Sweyn Forkbeard. Sweyn was the father of the legendary Cnut and the first Viking to be acknowledged as full king of...Show More
63. George VI: Review (2/2)

1:05:32 | Jun 15th, 2013

Having covered his life and reign, this week on Rex Factor we review George VI. Hear of his exploits serving in the battle of Jutland, doing his bit in the Second World War and stoically keeping calm and carrying on through speech impediment, ill hea...Show More
62. George VI: Biography (Part 1/2)

56:18 | Jun 2nd, 2013

After the shock of the Abdication Crisis in 1936, George VI came to the throne in less than ideal circumstances. And with a history of ill health, a stammer and an aversion to the limelight, George was perhaps less than the ideal future monarch. Howe...Show More
61. Edward VIII (Abdication Crisis)

1:27:34 | Apr 17th, 2013

In 1936, a very different character came to the throne in the shape of Edward VIII. He was handsome, charismatic and a modern man with modern interests. Unfortunately, he was also in love with a twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson, at a time when...Show More
60. George V

1:26:18 | Mar 17th, 2013

George V came to the throne in 1910 in the midst of a constitutional crisis and from that point on things didn't really get any easier. As monarch, George faced hung Parliaments, social upheaval, the Great Depression and the horrors of the First Worl...Show More
59. Edward VII

1:20:25 | Jan 13th, 2013

After the epic reign of Victoria, Edward VII (known as Bertie) had a lot to live up to. Lacking in academic rigour, romping and making scandal like his Hanoverian forefathers, Bertie was a source of anxiety for both his parents and the country at lar...Show More
58. Victoria: The Review (Part 5/5)

1:18:31 | Dec 13th, 2012

After four episodes, we finally review Queen Victoria in full. From the spirited young girl who resisted Conroy's Kensington System to the dumpy old lady celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, Victoria had her fair show of up's and downs. Some would critic...Show More
57. Victoria: The Prime Ministers (Part 4/5)

1:19:24 | Nov 29th, 2012

This week we look at Victoria's Prime Ministers following the death of Lord Palmerston in 1865. Victoria was heavily into mourning Prince Albert, but the efforts of Lord John Russell and the Earl of Derby to introduce electoral reform started to coax...Show More
56. Victoria: The Prime Ministers (Part 3/5)

1:16:47 | Nov 17th, 2012

Having looked at Victoria's personal life, we now look at the events of her reign through her Prime Ministers. In this first of two episodes, we encounter the first six of her ten leaders. Her first PM, Melbourne, was an old-school Whig with a pencha...Show More
55. Victoria's Biography (Part 2/5: 1861-1901)

1:10:29 | Oct 12th, 2012

Following the death of her beloved husband, Albert, Victoria plunged into mourning, wearing black for the rest of her life and refusing to perform her duties in public. Her reclusive habits saw her popularity plunge and the spectre of republicanism b...Show More
54. Victoria's Biography (Part 1/5: 1817-61)

1:16:59 | Sep 28th, 2012

In the first of five podcasts we look at the life and reign of Queen Victoria, beginning in 1817 with the death of the Prince Regent's only legitimate child, Princess Charlotte, and the race among George III's sons to produce a legitimate heir. The D...Show More
53. William IV

1:20:44 | Aug 11th, 2012

Sandwiched between the Georgians and Queen Victoria, poor old William IV is perhaps the most forgotten of monarchs. Little was expected of William IV as a young man - an excitable character sent off to the navy by George III, he lived the typical li...Show More
52. George IV (the Prince Regent)

1:16:11 | Jul 16th, 2012

When George III descended into his final madness in 1811 his eldest son became the Prince Regent, finally becoming George IV in 1820. Unlike his sober and dutiful father, George IV was a drinking, gambling, womanising figure of huge controversy who w...Show More
51. George III (Review)

1:11:57 | Jun 22nd, 2012

In the second part of the George III podcast we review his reign in the traditional fashion. However, reviewing George III is no easy task, for his epic reign contains some of the most glorious highs and disastrous lows of any reign. From the disastr...Show More
Radio Times Podcast of the Week!

0:00 | May 31st, 2012

We were very excited to be named the Radio Times podcast of the week for their Jubilee Special edition - and in celebrating Elizabeth II’s incredible 60 years on the throne it’s a great chance to have a look back at the many monarchs who preceded her...Show More
50. George III (the biography)

1:15:12 | May 30th, 2012

It's a slight change in format this episode as we split George III in half (so to speak) - this episode will focus on the events and background to his reign while the next will see us review him in the usual fashion and decide whether he has the Rex ...Show More
49. George II

1:06:12 | May 5th, 2012

It's a case of history repeating itself when George II comes to the throne in 1727 - like his father, he has Robert Walpole as his 'prime minister', is at odds with his eldest son, has a Jacobite rebellion to deal with, gets involved in the wars and ...Show More
48. George I

1:04:15 | Apr 12th, 2012

A lack of Protestant Stuarts in 1714 meant the start of a new dynasty with George I and the Hanoverians. Poor George wasn't the happiest of monarchs - he was perfectly happy in Hanover and went back as often as he could, while his British subjects we...Show More
47. Anne

1:04:54 | Mar 25th, 2012

The tumultuous Stuart dynasty comes to an end in this episode with Queen Anne, but otherwise it's an era of new beginnings. John Churchill (Duke of Marlborough) leads England to military glory against Louis XIV, particularly at Blenheim, while at hom...Show More
46. William & Mary (Glorious Revolution)

1:05:26 | Mar 3rd, 2012

With the removal of James II in 1688 in the Glorious Revolution came the unusual position of joint rulers: the husband and wife team of William III and Mary II. William held executive power and spent most of his time fighting wars against his arch ne...Show More
45. James II

1:03:45 | Feb 10th, 2012

The monarchy was left in a pretty good state by Charles II in 1685, but the trickiest part of his reign had been to prevent Parliament excluding his Catholic brother, James, from the throne, so how would Parliament react to its first Catholic ruler s...Show More
44. Charles II (Restoration)

1:03:24 | Jan 28th, 2012

After the republican interlude of the Commonwealth, Charles II leads the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. After an adventurous youth alongside his father in the Civil War and a thrilling escape from Cromwell's clutches in 1651, Charles was intent...Show More
43. Oliver Cromwell

1:03:00 | Jan 10th, 2012

The execution of Charles I in 1649 created something of a dilemma for England, needing to find a completely new way to govern itself. Various parliamentary outfits were tried, but throughout it all one man dominated until in 1653 he officially became...Show More
42. Charles I (Civil War)

1:03:20 | Dec 20th, 2011

Charles I's accession in 1625 would prove a momentous moment in English history, leading to numerous conflicts with Parliament which resulted in civil war and the abolition of the monarchy. Charles's early years were blighted by military failures und...Show More
41. James I (VI of Scotland)

1:02:57 | Dec 2nd, 2011

The Tudor dynasty came to an end in 1603 to be replaced by the Stuarts, headed by James VI of Scotland (now James I of England). James had much promise as an experienced king in Scotland with a tendency towards religious toleration, peaceful rule and...Show More
40. Elizabeth I

1:03:50 | Nov 14th, 2011

After the short and troubled reign of Mary I, Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 facing numerous challenges: a country deeply divided on religion, threatened by France and Scotland (via Mary Queen of Scots), an awkward relationship with Mary's wido...Show More
39. Mary I

1:03:30 | Oct 15th, 2011

A lack of male Tudors meant that in 1553 a woman would, for the first time, inherit the throne. Edward VI wished his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to take the throne but instead it was his older sister, Mary. Mary was Henry VIII's oldest child had seen her...Show More
38. Edward VI

1:02:35 | Sep 26th, 2011

After the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII, in 1547 his young son Edward VI comes to the throne. As a minor, Edward's reign is dominated the machinations of the key men at court, particularly his uncles (Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and Thomas Sey...Show More
37. What Happened to Henry VIII?

42:27 | Sep 18th, 2011

In a departure from our usual fare, this week we take a closer look at Henry VIII and consider how it was that the promising 17 year-old who came to the throne in 1509 should turn into the tyrannical monster that died in 1547. Was his personality alt...Show More
36. Henry VIII

1:03:56 | Sep 8th, 2011

In 1509, England's most (in)famous monarch comes to the throne - Henry VIII. Henry dominates the popular imagination even to this day and his reign dramatically altered the course of English history. It all started very pleasantly, with a good-lookin...Show More
35. Henry VII

1:03:00 | Aug 10th, 2011

With victory in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, Henry VII becomes the first of the new Tudor dynasty. Henry had a difficult time facing down numerous threats to his reign, particularly from pretenders such as Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck, but go...Show More
34. Richard III

59:27 | Jul 26th, 2011

By usurping his nephew, Edward V, in 1483 Richard III started his route to infamy and his place in English history as perhaps the most notorious and monstrous king of them all. However, to this day he has passionate supporters who claim he was a far ...Show More
Who’s Who - Edward V (Princes in the Tower)

0:00 | Jul 17th, 2011

To keep track of who is who in this week’s episode, have a look at our instructively named Who’s Who Guide: https://rexfactor.wordpress.com/english-monarchs/whos-who/yorkists/whos-who-edward-v-princes-in-the-tower/
33. Edward V (Princes in the Tower)

59:35 | Jul 17th, 2011

The name Edward V is unfamiliar to most, but the fate of the Princes in the Tower (Edward and his brother, Richard) is one of the most famous and mysterious issues in English royal history. The 12 year-old king came to the throne in 1483 but never re...Show More
Who’s Who - Edward IV

0:00 | Jul 6th, 2011

Losing track of who is on which side with what claim to the throne during the Wars of the Roses? Check out our handy who’s who guide! https://rexfactor.wordpress.com/english-monarchs/whos-who/yorkists/whos-who-edward-iv/
32. Edward IV

1:00:59 | Jul 6th, 2011

The Yorkists come to power in 1461 in the form of Edward IV. 19 years old, very tall, exceptionally attractive and a courageous soldier to boot, Edward is a very different prospect to the ailing Henry VI but his reign is not without difficulty. His m...Show More
Who’s Who - Henry VI

0:00 | Jun 21st, 2011

Things get complicated this week as we cover the Wars of the Roses. Major figures are killed/captured/exiled/restored from month to month and if that is not enough some people even have the cheek to swap sides! In case you start to lose track of who ...Show More
31. Henry VI (Wars of the Roses)

59:59 | Jun 21st, 2011

Henry V's untimely death in 1422 leaves a baby on the throne in the form of Henry VI and marks a total reversal in English fortunes. Disasters in France at the hands of Joan of Arc are eclipsed by the Wars of the Roses, with the Yorkist forces of Ric...Show More
Who’s Who - Henry V

0:00 | Jun 9th, 2011

Can’t quite remember which person is doing what to whom as the episode progresses? Not sure which side everybody is on for the Wars of the Roses? Check out our handy Who’s Who guide to the reign of Henry V for a brief summary of the key players: http...Show More
30. Henry V

59:49 | Jun 8th, 2011

In 1413 we welcome one of England's most legendary kings to the throne, Henry V. After the trials and tribulations of his father, Henry V makes this 'kinging' business look rather easy, unifying his country before popping off to France and winning un...Show More
Who’s Who - Henry IV

0:00 | May 20th, 2011

Confused by all the different names and character’s in this week’s episode? Check out our handy guide to the main players in Henry IV’s reign, as well as an explanation of where all the rival royal families are currently placed ahead of the Wars of...Show More
29. Henry IV

55:11 | May 20th, 2011

When Henry Bolingbroke deposes Richard II in 1399, he is acclaimed as the nation's saviour and the first Lancastrian king, Henry IV. However, being king proves a lot harder than becoming king, and Henry has to face numerous difficulties throughout hi...Show More
Who’s Who - Richard II

0:00 | May 6th, 2011

Confused by all the different names and character’s in this week’s episode? Check out our handy guide to the main players in Richard II’s reign, as well as a brief explanation of how we’re seeing the beginnings of the Wars of the Roses. https://rexfa...Show More
28. Richard II

59:56 | May 5th, 2011

After the fading glories of Edward III, England has another child king in 1377 with the accession of Richard II. Richard takes after his great-grandfather Edward II with his tendency for promoting lowly favourites and being considered of dubious hete...Show More
Who’s Who - Edward III

0:00 | Apr 28th, 2011

Listening to the podcast and losing track of who everybody is, which side they’re on and how they all fit into the big picture? For your convenience, we now have a concise list of the main players in this week’s episode (without spoilers!) Just click...Show More
27. Edward III

59:57 | Apr 28th, 2011

With his father deposed in 1327 and Roger Mortimer all-powerful, things did not look too promising for the young Edward III, but this turned out to be one of the most remarkable reigns of the medieval period. Encompassing the start of the Hundred Yea...Show More
Who’s Who – Edward II

0:00 | Apr 20th, 2011

Listening to the podcast and losing track of who everybody is, which side they’re on and how they all fit into the big picture? For your convenience, we now have a concise list of the main players in this week’s episode (without spoilers!) Just click...Show More
26. Edward II

55:49 | Apr 20th, 2011

The reign of Edward I was always going to be hard to follow, but even so Edward II makes rather a meal of it. His devotion to his favourites Piers Gaveston (a foppish arrogant knight) and Hugh Despenser (a brutal baron) cause resentment and rebellion...Show More
25. Edward I

1:00:50 | Apr 12th, 2011

England enters its medieval Edwardian period in 1272 with the accession of Edward I and after two difficult reigns we have another powerful king. Edward was every bit the medieval warrior king, going on Crusade, conquering Wales and building some of ...Show More
24. Henry III

54:37 | Apr 4th, 2011

John dies in 1216 with the country in civil war and in danger of being conquered by France. Worse still, the new king, Henry III, is only 9 years old and in his minority. Thankfully, he has a medieval hero in William Marshal to fight his battles, but...Show More
23. John

51:29 | Mar 18th, 2011

After one of England's great heroes in the person of Richard the Lionheart, this time we cover one of its most famous villains - Bad King John. He's often reputed to be England's worst king - cowardly, incompetent and evil! - but is this bad reputati...Show More
22. Richard the Lionheart

55:05 | Mar 9th, 2011

In 1189, one of England's legendary kings takes the throne. Richard I (nicknamed the Lionheart for his courage in battle) has become an English folk hero, most famously in the story of Robin Hood, but he spent surprisingly little time in England. For...Show More
21. Henry II

52:55 | Mar 2nd, 2011

Stephen's death in 1154 puts an end to the civil war, and with the accession of Henry II England enjoys something of a change in fortune. Henry is one of the great characters of the medieval period and the first of the Angevins (or the Plantagenets) ...Show More
20. Stephen

40:52 | Feb 18th, 2011

The death of Henry I in 1135 should have seen the accession of England's first queen, his daughter Matilda, but instead the throne is snatched by his favourite nephew Stephen. At first things go well for Stephen, but a few mistakes later and he finds...Show More
19. Henry I

44:14 | Feb 3rd, 2011

The death of Rufus in 1100 sees the accession of a rather more sober character in his younger brother, Henry I. Although Henry's more than capable of holding his own in battle he proves the benefit of brain over brawn and rules over the Anglo-Norman ...Show More
18. William Rufus

44:12 | Jan 25th, 2011

By the Holy Face of Lucca, it's William II! Better known as William Rufus, the favourite son of William the Conqueror who inherits the English throne while his older brother, Robert, takes on the Duchy of Normandy. Thanks to the writings of disapprov...Show More
17. William the Conqueror

53:52 | Jan 20th, 2011

After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror has defeated Harold II and the Saxons and the Normans are now ruling England. However, he still has to quell a persistent English Resistance featuring characters such as Edgar the Aetheling ...Show More
16. Harold II (1066)

1:03:46 | Dec 25th, 2010

After 15 episodes we finally come to the most famous year in English history. Harold Godwinson has taken the throne to become Harold II, but he is facing invasion from two powerful rivals. In Normandy, Duke William is massing an invasion force to tak...Show More
15. Edward the Confessor

46:11 | Dec 23rd, 2010

After the Viking dynasty peters out, the Saxons are back on the throne when Edward the Confessor becomes king in 1042. He's something of a late starter at 38, but he is clearly a man with staying power, as Godwin and his mother Emma are set to find o...Show More
14. Harthacnut

32:34 | Dec 18th, 2010

After faffing about in Denmark, Cnut's legitimate son by Emma finally takes his place as king of the English in 1040. Unfortunately when he does arrive he turns out to be a bit of a moody chap and treats his new realm with minimal affection. Heavy ta...Show More
13. Harold I

27:07 | Dec 12th, 2010

When Cnut dies in 1035 England has enjoyed a period of stability, but the legacy of his bigamy is that his two widows are battling it out for dominance at court. Emma, the queen, had the legitimate son in Harthacnut, but he is out of the country mean...Show More
12. Cnut

43:16 | Dec 5th, 2010

In 1016 the country passes into new ownership with the Vikings now in control of England in the person of Cnut. Unlike William the Conqueror 50 years later, Cnut is perfectly happy to 'go native' and embrace Saxon culture, ably supported by the ever-...Show More
11. Edmund Ironside

34:54 | Nov 29th, 2010

In 1016, fifty years before Hastings, England is under threat of conquest from the young Viking leader, Cnut. Aethelred the Unready had proved unable to defend his kingdom, but his son Edmund proves a far more powerful and courageous warrior. Has the...Show More
10. Aethelred the Unready

46:54 | Nov 22nd, 2010

The last of the boy kings and one of the most infamous of the Saxons, poor Aethelred has a rather torrid time. As if coming to the throne after his brother was murdered was not enough, he is faced with the most powerful Viking force in a century and ...Show More
9. Edward the Martyr

28:30 | Nov 6th, 2010

Following the triumphal reign of Edgar the Peaceable, everything was looking rosy for the Saxons, but life is far from easy for our fifth boy king and the nation's fortunes enter into something of a rapid decline. Why does everything fall apart so qu...Show More
8. Edgar the Peaceable

44:22 | Oct 24th, 2010

After several difficult reigns, Edgar oversees something of a golden age for the Anglo-Saxons and despite his nickname is also a rather colourful character to boot. In our longest podcast thus far we encounter our toughest decision yet when it comes ...Show More
7. Eadwig

33:04 | Oct 18th, 2010

Eadwig's accession to the throne in 955 sees a new generation wearing the crown in Anglo-Saxon England, but the ministers of state remain the same and from the very start Eadwig finds himself at odds with Dunstan, Odo and Eadgifu. Will the third boy ...Show More
6. Eadred

37:12 | Oct 14th, 2010

At 23 years old, Eadred is perhaps a little old to be the second "boy king", which is just as well because facing him is the most notorious Viking to grace these shores: Eric Bloodaxe! Will this grandson of Alfred the Great have the stomach for the f...Show More
5. Edmund I

32:17 | Sep 30th, 2010

Our story thus far has been one of constant triumph for the Anglo-Saxon kings, and in 939AD the young Edmund I inherits a fully fledged English kingdom. But can the first "boy king" live up to the glories of his forebears and earn himself the ultimat...Show More
4. Athelstan

39:50 | Sep 21st, 2010

We're back from our summer break and to kick us off we have King Athelstan, the first true king of all England (if not Britain). He was a powerful warrior, a prolific law-maker and he even managed to find the time to dally in foreign affairs and crea...Show More
3. Edward the Elder

38:25 | Aug 24th, 2010

Our monarchic journey hurtles headlong into the tenth century as we move on to Edward the Elder, a Saxon warrior king who sets a trend for not being Edward I. However, following Alfred the Great is no mean feat - not only did he earn our Rex Factor a...Show More
2. Alfred the Great

38:56 | Aug 12th, 2010

In our second podcast we do our first review of a king, namely Alfred the Great (871-99). He impresses us with his record on defensive tactics and cultural endeavours, but we are forced to get creative to try and find some evidence of scandal from th...Show More
1. Backgroundy Stuff

42:35 | Aug 12th, 2010

In our first ever podcast we take a brisk stroll through history with sweeping generalisations taking us from Stonehenge to the ninth century. Reviewing proper will start with Alfred the Great next time.