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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 they have the Rex Factor!

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 they have the 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 they have the Rex Factor!




S3.01 Consort Introduction and Agrippina

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 each of the factors and then have an interview with Privy Councillor Dr Emma Southon, who has written a brilliant book on a Roman Consort, Agrippina. You can follow Emma on Twitter (@NuclearTeeth) and her website Her...


Battle of the Queens (Live)

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)

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)

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 in disguise?


Battle of the Raucous Royals (Live)

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)

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 winner? This podcast features the whole of the main recording as well as the audience Q&As, albeit the audience are not audible so Graham has had to approximate what the questions were!


Battle of the Champions (Live)

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 full live show (barring the first 30 seconds that didn't record) including a Q&A afterwards with the audience (apologies for quiet bits when people couldn't reach the mic on stage!)


A Royal Christmas Special

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 skating or murdering the Archbishop of Canterbury. We'll be back in January with the recordings of the Live Tour and then the third series, reviewing all the Queen and Prince Consorts of England. For now, thanks for listening, Merry Christmas and a...


The Making of the Animated Show

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 all came about and the process of making the animation. We also reveal the details for the episode's official premiere, which will take place on 29 September 2018 at the King Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester. There are free tickets...


Live Tour Announcement 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 website - please come along, we'd love to see you there!


Animated Show Update and Special Episode Previews

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! Also, we provide some clips from our most recent special episodes on The Death of Amy Robsart, Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire and Bess of Hardwick, plus a clip from one of our Privy Chamber bonus episodes.


Warwick Castle and Guy of Warwick

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 on the main podcast: Kate Davidson, who scripted the jousting extravaganza "Wars of the Roses Live", and Melissa Paniccia, the head of history at Warwick Castle who tells us about her role and the summer spectacular for August 2018, bringing to...


S2.52 Scottish Grand Final Results

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 and the topic for the third series. We revealed the results in a livestream which you can watch back here - we answered various questions from viewers in the livestream (which are not in the podcast) plus we read out some of the voter comments...


S2.51 Scottish Play-Offs: Grand Final

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 are Constantine II (effective first King of Scots), Robert the Bruce (winner of the Battle of Bannockburn), James IV (Renaissance Golden Age) and Mary Queen of Scots (an amazing and often tragic life story). In this episode, we compare the four...


S2.50 Scottish Playoffs: First Round Results

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, James IV) and Group C (Kenneth MacAlpin, Alexander II, Mary Queen of Scots, James VI). We also read out some of your excellent comments on why you voted for the various monarchs. We actually live-streamed the results on our YouTube channel, so you...


S2.49 Scottish Playoffs: Group C

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 (1542-67). Kenneth was the first, Mary and James are perhaps the most famous, but it is Alexander II (1214-49) who got the highest score of these four in the original podcasts. We compare them factor by factor but you will play a crucial role in...


S2.48 Scottish Playoffs: Group B

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 statue) and Malcolm II (the dynastic serial killer). David I oversaw a revolution in governance and gained huge territory during the (English) Anarchy while James IV presided over Scotland's Renaissance. We compare them all, factor-by-factor, but...


S2.47 Scottish Play-Offs: Group A

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 and then it's down to you to help decide who goes through to the final. Will it be Constantine II with his battles against the Vikings and Athelstan? Malcolm III for slaying Macbeth and seeing Scotland through the upheavals of 1066? Maybe...


S2.46 Scottish Play-Off Draw

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 be facing off against each other.


S2.45 James VI (I of England)

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 a violent and divided nation for James growing up, but if he can survive and prosper where his predecessors fail, the glittering prize of the English throne awaits. Will James VI finish the series on a high and succeed where he failed in the...