The reporting space of La Sexta directed and presented by Jordi Évole, Salvados , has been ten years old, in which it has evolved from the hooligan to the denouncing tone and in which many controversial topics have been touched. We review the keys and some moments of this decade with Évole himself.
Sell 'Saved', why should there be another ten years?
Ten years I do not know if I love them or me … (laughs) I do not want to sell anything. Saved is a program that the day that we have no illusion to do so will be noticed so much that it will sing like a clam and will have to be plated. The luck is that until now we have put a desire, an illusion and a passion that is what has led us to be ten years.
How did they come back to the subject of depression without announcing what the program was about?
It was something we had never done, but since the subject we were going to talk about was an issue that we hide a lot in society, we thought that the best way to promote it was to hide it. When we told the directors of the chain, he was enthusiastic.
They trusted that it would work …
We've been with the spectators for ten years. In these ten years a lot of people have joined Salvados. Nor did we know how many people would want to see Saved. And with that mutual trust we thought that we could propose that challenge.
Saved is Jordi Évole?
No. Saved is a great team that you can not even imagine. Salvados is still doing TV with a team that has the size and number of people from other eras, because television is now very precarious.
They are an exception …
One day we decided to apply a maxim that they asked of a president of Barça -I am very Barça- when they said "money in the field, not in the bank". So the money we make doing Saved is better that it's in the program than not in the bank. We invest in time and equipment and if we start doing the program fifteen people now we are forty. It is very cool.
Has the salary been raised in these ten years?
Yes, yes (laughs) I think it's almost mandatory.
Is there something you have not dared to do yet?
Because we have forbidden it, no, but surely there are things that we have not done and that is why we are still in the breach.
Any specific issue that is pending?
I would like to make a program, which I think we would have difficulty doing, to talk about our own profession. It has become a taboo subject and we live in a moment of enormous anomaly for what is happening in the media of this country. It is difficult for journalists to talk about their own media, our own and our colleagues'. We have a hard time doing self-criticism.
How was the transition from El Follonero to 'Saved'?
Without the noisemaker we could not be doing what we are doing now. Thanks to the character, especially at the beginning of Saved, we were allowed to ask in a way that if you had not had the reference of the Follonero there would have been many guests who would have said "what are you going, and this gall?".
Did it take him back to being Jordi Évole?
The transformation and leave behind the costume of the noisemaker was very little by little and it was not a decision to set a day to stop being him and start being Jordi Évole. Being such a slow transition people accepted it naturally.
Do you still call him that?
I thought that I was never going to get rid of the Follonero from above and that it is going, people are already calling me Jordi in the street, it is to be grateful.
What marked the beginning of the end of that process?
There were two key moments, with two programs in two consecutive weeks in which we talked about ETA. One of them four days before ETA announced the definitive end of the violence. There were people who asked us if we had a tip-off from ETA, because the program was called 'Erasing ETA'. We did not know. Those programs made many people say "wand, these people …". Those and the Metro Valencia marked a milestone.
Has Salvados and Jordi Évole been the school of cross-examination? Of not being satisfied with the first answer?
There have been many journalists before us who did not settle for the first response. It would not put us as a school of anything.
How many questions do you have to ask before giving up?
There is an editor of the program who always tells me that when I pick up the bone I do not let it go. In the edition we sometimes remove some, but when you hook a bone and see that the other is not telling you what you think is thinking and teasing you, then you start to gnaw the bone.
Let's review some moments of these ten years. For example, the one in which they were going to a meeting of Zapatero and signed down the street to a window cleaner to infiltrate.
I'm afraid I have to break the myth, because everything was assembled, it was a Cuban who was a member of the team and all we wanted was to reflect a scene of how we found it, but it was fiction, in another time of the program much more ruffled and irreverent . Yes, what happened after the Cuban, who snuck behind Zapatero and Rajoy yes that was true. It was very fun shooting.
Is it possible to keep the hooligan tone and credibility at the same time?
What was impossible was to maintain that rhythm, the Saved ones of the beginning, with three infiltrators, recordings with hidden camera … and arrived a point in which the press managers of all the political parties knew all the members of the team and saw to our camera and they went and said "where is the infiltrator?" It was a fun time but with enormous stress.
Have fun now?
Yes. Even in the most tense interview there are funny moments. As in the interview with Maduro, in which there were very tense moments and nevertheless we had a great time.
He defined that interview as an interrogation. Are you comfortable with that definition of interview? Question 'Saved'?
No, that interview had the questions he had to have. The climate that was created between Maduro and me was not a bad weather or a bad tone, but it had to be asked. What I think is that Maduro is not used to that type of interviews, although I have to thank him for answering everything, he did not shrink from anything and gave his face.
I liked the spontaneity, something that I miss in some Spanish politicians, who go by rails and from there they do not leave. Maduro is one of those who still improvises and gives a show.
Is there a trick to dealing with the powerful?
The powerful have one thing that you have to be very careful about and that is that they make you feel very comfortable when you get home. When they decide that they give you the interview, the degree of facilities they give you is so great that you can lower your guard. They treat you very well, but you have to have a waist so as not to be seduced by the environment.
In Venezuela did that happen?
No. There was a long wait because the interview was changed day. The Minister of Communication of the Government tried to make up for the delay by taking us to lunch and visit the tomb of Bolívar, a tour that was appreciated. But the next day we had to wait again from nine in the morning to four in the afternoon.
The owner of the Qatar Foundation was asked questions that he did not like at all and in his own home … Do you feel nervous or afraid when you know you are going to offend someone powerful?
You have fear before you start recording. Once you start -I do not know if the camera and the team make you a shield- it seems like you are not living it, that nothing can happen to you, that you are protected. Then you see it in the editing room and you put your hands to your head. In the case of the Qatar Foundation that man made the gesture very soon, as soon as we started asking him if he would like a homosexual to wear the Barsa shirt with the propaganda of the Qatar Foundation … That man did not understand anything.
How many times does it happen that a guest receives you with a smile and says goodbye without her?
(Laughter) Sometimes it happens. There have even been people who have risen and gone. I remember once a guest told me the fifth or sixth question "I did not expect this from you".
They went to the exclusive Conde de Godó Tournament with a group of gypsies. Do you like to face realities?
I love it, we love the program to break protocols and we felt that mixing gypsies that sell panties in a market could be fun to mix in Barcelona's upper class environment. Breaking the established has always been one of the objectives of Saved .
How do you live a moment like that, in which you create a situation that you do not know how it will turn out?
You live with many nerves. It also happened with the infiltrators. There was an infiltrator in an awards ceremony whose mission was to approach the Infanta Cristina to ask her if her savings were safe at La Caixa. Well, there was a moment when we lost communication with the infiltrator and when we got back to it we heard a noise that I will not describe and then how I pulled the chain.
He interviewed Iñaki Rekarte, for which he was criticized a lot. Does anyone deserve an interview?
For me if. I do not have to judge the interviewee. We have to ask him what we think we should ask him and we did that. And although I like in interviews to create a climate of compassion or trust, of empathy, in that interview there was nothing like that. The Basque theme has been an issue that in state media has been treated only partially, speaking with only one of the parties. In that I have a clear conscience because in Salvados we have spoken with all the parties.
Is there someone I would not interview?
Everyone has an interview. The important thing is to know the tone you should have in that interview. What I would not do is pay someone to come to the program to tell a crime or to benefit to recreate in an experience. We have not paid anyone.
Carmen Álvarez (PP) and Concha Gutiérrez (PSOE) began to argue in front of you. What is going through his head?
There is a moment in that discussion that I think "you do not know what you are doing". Look what we had told them before we started that we were going to try to have a civilized conversation, to present points of view and suddenly they became chatter and neither of them left.
He asked them if they would lower their salaries in Congress and they were blocked. Is there a point of enjoyment when a respondent is thus caught?
They are moments of silence before a question that you see that you have touched a point that they want to hide … there you appreciate the work that the script team has done. It all has to do with previous work and when it bears fruit it is rewarding.
Did you have to raise your voice at some point?
I would say there has been almost no time.
In a report to the headquarters of the PP in Valencia they were approached by a peculiar Russian gentleman …
That is one of the gifts that reality gives you. That was not agreed or was not fictional. I flip. He gave us a scene that was also very well recorded, with only one camera. It was a vaudeville time.
Have many strange people been recorded?
Yes, even people who have not been in the program. Once we were approached by the security guard of a parking lot to tell us that he was famous, that he had doubled Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. I do not know if it was true or not, but I really liked it.
You said you were pressured not to broadcast the interview with Zaida Cantera, does that happen to you often?
Often not, but it has happened to us in a specific moment because before being broadcast there have been people who did not want it to be seen or after it was broadcast by people who have tried not to see it anymore. Be part of this game. That there will be pressures we have to assume it and then not let ourselves be overcome by those pressures. Neither we nor those responsible for the chain, which are the ones that will receive the first impact.
And how have they behaved in La Sexta with that?
I have no complaint from the chain. We have discussed a lot in some moments and according to what programs, but they have always defended us. These debates are always enriching. You are required to contrast things a lot and that is good. There has never been a resounding no.
Once we were threatened by the Falange, by an action in the Valley of the Fallen with two Falangists who danced there a "fa-cha-cha" and we threw some flowers with the colors of the republic in Franco's tomb. They sent a somewhat threatening statement, but then they withdrew it.
What Salva's tape would save from a fire?
It would save the interview with José Luis Sampedro and the Astral documentary, about the rescue work of immigrants in the Open Arms Mediterranean. It is the great drama that we live today.