Ask us Anything! (within reason)

In October, we’ll be starting a new series of Rex Factor, reviewing all the kings and queens of Scotland from Kenneth MacAlpin to James VI. Before we move our gaze north of the border, however, we’ll be recording a special retrospective podcast looking back at the first series. To avoid this descending into an hour of Ali talking about Edward I’s Welsh castles, we would like you to send in your questions for us to answer.

You can ask us any question you like (within reason!) about us, the podcast, the monarchs we have reviewed, the play-offs, things you’ve always been wondering that we never answered or maybe decisions you think we still need to justify. Favourite characters, biggest surprises, – anything you like!

If you would like to ask us a question, you can leave a comment on this blog post or contact us on our various social media:

Email –

Twitter – @rexfactorpod

Facebook –

Please get your questions in to us by Thursday 18 September and we’ll record our responses the next day.

25 thoughts on “Ask us Anything! (within reason)

  1. Why did you leave out a certain King Edgar II? (who is not forgotten as much as Áed but still forgotten often, not left out of memories but discounted on the grounds that his ‘extremely short quasi-reign’ leaves him left out if the troop of Kings heading to Rex Factor mountain).
    I don’t know why everybody seems to make it out that he wasn’t King (despite not getting out of his minority with the crown AND not having a regent (if only for 72 days).
    Also, a question for longevity: Edgar lives for 60 years after his deposition by William I in 1066, he may have lived for longer, his lifespan is anywhere from 74 years old – 100+ years old, he is mentioned in a census in 1168 making him 117 years old having been born in Hungary in 1051. Also, he has no reason to be left out and when you went and did Sweyn Forkbeard as #64, I feel that Edgar II Æþeling (or Æðeling) has been left out but otherwise, Rex Factor is nearly as awesome as it could be (with Edgar).

    • Hi Brendan, Edgar the Aetheling had an amazing life and it would be good to do a special episode on him one day…but we’re happy to have excluded him! He’d be categorised as “disputed” like the Empress Matilda during the Anarchy, namely that he claims the throne but is never really properly king. William defeats Harold at Hastings and although Edgar is proclaimed king, he is never crowned, never old enough to rule and it is just a matter of the Saxon hierarchy (which doesn’t include Edgar) taking some time to realise that William’s victory at Hastings meant in reality he was in charge and there was nothing they could do about it.

      But as you say, Edgar has a long life and had he been king he would have been one of the longest ruling monarchs in British history! I’m not sure that his exact date of death is known but he was thought to be alive well into the reign of Henry I.

      • The reason (to answer a point you made that I realise I didn’t address!) that we did go back to Sweyn Forkbeard is back there is a definite recognition of him having forced Aethelraed out and everyone agreeing that he was king, albeit only for a short period of time. Those who were disputed and never managed to establish themselves sufficiently (Edgar – failed vs. William I; Matilda – failed vs. Stephen; Louis – failed vs. Henry III, and Jane – failed vs. Mary) we passed over. But it would be interesting to review them one day!

    • Hi Em, the theme tune is my own creation backed by a free jingle provided by Apple. Some historical podcasts have some vaguely historical-sounding music but our theme is more of a nod to the talent show part of the name! It stayed the same for most of the series but I did a slightly beefed up version when we got to the play-offs and altered the length to accommodate all of the names Ali had to read out at the start (“This week…”)!

  2. Love the show!!!

    Can either of you pick your favourite Monarch? I found some of my favourite episodes have been those that covered monarchs who didn’t have that Intangible, undefinable quality of Rex Factor..

    Also my girlfriend is French and would love a series covering the French Monarchs (in English), there doesn’t seem to be any equivalents out there.


  3. I’d also like to know more about the research you did. How long you spent researching each monarch and the sorts of sources you used.

    Also, what other podcasts you listen to or that might have inspired you to do this.

  4. So many good questions! I love the one about getting Charles II to a party. The questions Steve asked just above are the ones that are most similar to mine – I was wondering which monarchs turned out to be the most different, when you got down to facts, from their myths (good or bad).

  5. What are your thoughts on the next few in line to the throne? If you were to assign a score to Prince Charles (who I guess could become Charles III?) and leaving aside things like “length of reign,” where would he rank?

    Love the show, looking forward to Scotland!

  6. In doing some genealogy research, I discovered that I am actually descended from Edward I via his daughter Princess Elizabeth Plantagenet (sorry Ali, he’s still one of my least favorite monarchs, despite being my 22nd great grandfather). It made me wonder, do either of you have any traces of royal blood?


  7. I’ve got a few questions, any of which I’d love to have answers to:

    1. What have been the easiest and hardest parts of building your podcast?
    2. What’s the best thing you learned that didn’t make it into the recorded episodes?
    3. A question for each of you to answer individually: Aside from the infamous Edgar the Peaceable travesty, are there any Rex Factor decisions you’d reverse–worthies who were denied the Factor, or someone who sneaked in to the round of 18 who you now think didn’t deserve the honor?
    And, finally, 4. How’s Ali’s recovery going?

    Thanks for the many hours of enjoyment, guys. Looking forward to the Scotland edition!

  8. If you were having a party, and in order to get Charles II there you had to invite one of Dunstan, Victoria, Eadred, or Cromwell, who would be on the guest list?

  9. A couple for you.

    Which King/queen was hardest to research, due to lack of or contradictory source material?
    Which king/queen was the biggest disappointment – ie you would have thought they would have been a finalist but they didn’t measure up on close scrutiny?

    And my daughter wants to know what you both do for a living. The back story to Rex Factor would be interesting to understand.

    Thanks for the series – our family (2 adults, kids aged 12 and 14) have enjoyed listening.

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