AN academic has cast doubt on the BBC's search for the remains of King Alfred the Great, saying that results are likely to prove inconclusive.

A BBC2 documentary is attempting to identify bones which were exhumed from an unmarked Winchester grave.

The search for the remains of the Anglo-Saxon king comes after Channel 4 featured the discovery of Richard III's remains under a Leicester car park.

Edward Fennell, who has been involved in the project, said: "We commenced the search for Alfred a long time before the publicity about Richard III hit."

Academic Dr Charles West, a medieval history lecturer at the University of Sheffield, was sceptical DNA tests would provide a conclusive result. "Alfred died such a long time ago that even if they did prove descent, we're all likely to be related in one way or another."