With the hope of the first day and the guarantee of being at the controls of an ocean liner already rolled, it starts Roberto Leal his stage in Pasapalabra, which opens this Wednesday in prime time of Antenna 3 to go, from Monday 18, to its usual strip of afternoon.

The chain trusted him from the beginning as a man of guarantees and boasts that he has adapted so quickly that “it seems that he has been presenting it for 10 years.” For his part, he shares the merit with a team that has made him feel “on the wing”.

It has also given him his confidence Christian Galvez, presenter for 12 years of the program, whom he discovers as “quite a gentleman” and sends a message back just a few hours before its premiere.

In addition, we talked with him about a debate that he himself already closed, that of the accents that arose after his interview in El Hormiguero: “I am sure that Pablo Motos had no bad intention (…) when I saw the repercussion I thought it was a little too much. ” Also on this great challenge and the subsequent Challenge that it will undertake in Atresmedia, without losing sight of the final farewell to OT 2020 in the four galas that still lie ahead: “It will be like a new Operation Triumph”.

When you get a candy like Pasapalabra, what do you have to think? Do you think a lot about what you leave, or more about what comes?

You think about both. In what you leave, it has also been a nice caramel that I have enjoyed for a long time. And also in the luck of continuing in a sweet moment, never better said, with that candy of which you speak. When a group like Atresmedia looks at you for a format like Pasapalabra, you feel lucky.

You say that the key to this great challenge is to enjoy, and that you already do it with each recording. Before facing him the first time, did you ever experience vertigo? When did you start enjoying it?

Vertigo of thinking ‘OMG, where am I going?’, Never. Yes I have had maximum respect from the beginning, I still have it and I will have it for a long time. In the end, for me it is a program known in its essence, but unknown when facing it.

There have been many things that I have been learning little by little, picking up the rhythm and pulse of the program. I had to work here and then take work home which is what I keep doing, but at all times I have felt comfortable. Especially since the team has made me feel this way. They are the same ones that have done Pasapalabra for many years, some started here in Antena 3 20 years ago, and you are almost flying. They give you a lot of advice and all the peace and patience in the world when starting a program, which is also needed.

You commented at the press conference that Christian Gálvez sent you a message wishing you luck. What would you send him after taking over?

I would say I was right. He told me that he was very lucky because Pasapalabra has a great outfit and that I was going to feel very comfortable, and he was right in the world. In the team they are very fond of him and they will always be because he is part of the history of the program, and everything he could tell me about them I verified from minute one. He has been a gentleman and a great companion. I already had a very pleasant impression of him for his work, personally it is true that we have met very few times, but now I also know that more human part and it is to take off your hat. It was a detail on his part.

On your visit to El Hormiguero, your response to Pablo Motos on accent and diction in order to present Pasapalabra was highly applauded. How have you experienced the repercussion, that even Susana Díaz has intervened to defend the accent?

It would be nice if there came a time when nobody had to intervene to defend the accent of any land. I am sure that Paul never asked that question with malicious intent. In the end, social media magnifies everything and accents are a recurring debate. Specifically mine, which is the Andalusian, looks a lot with a magnifying glass every time something happens. It is like the tides, the subject comes and goes. It does not affect me at all and yes when I saw the repercussion on Twitter I thought it was a bit excessive.

My answer was the normal one, the one I would do even if it was from Lugo. You are faithful to your way of communicating and you have been working for a long time now to consider changing anything. I am not affected by this type of debate because the one who stands in front of a camera trying to be faithful to what he is like in his normal life, is me.

For me that debate is closed. This is my way of speaking, you are understanding me perfectly, and that’s it. And of course when doing El Rosco I write more, but one from Irún would also do it. It is about the contestant taking the boat and if he does not, it is not because he did not understand you, but because the word in question is not known.

Antena 3 records you as a chain face. Apart from Pasapalabra, are you guaranteed to have another large prime-time project per season, like now El Desafío?

I don’t know that. Right now I have Pasapalabra and also El Desafío, which is great news for me. We do not know when it will be launched, the idea is to do it as soon as possible but we need an audience to be able to do it in a big way.

I understand that when the chain trusts you, it trusts a long project. If opportunities arise that can be adapted to that profile that I may have different from that of other colleagues in the house, I suppose they will think of me. But I don’t come thinking about that now, and I assure you that what I said at the press conference is true. My head now has enough work ahead of Pasapalabra and then El Desafío, to think of more.

Next week you return to OT 2020 to close your stage in the program and the great news, for security reasons, is that the last four galas will be without an audience. I know Will you adapt the dynamics in some way? What are you going to do to overcome the cold that can be on the set without the heat of the people?

I think a selection is being made among many families who are passing a kind of casting to participate in the gala. There will be people who will watch the program with us and will be watching the performances of the kids, and it is an original way of integrating this situation and trying to bring it back to normal as much as possible. Not having an audience, when we always had 900 people on the set, of course it shows. But you have to adapt and people already understand that it has to be that way. In the end, viewers what they want is to see that program and within all security measures we will try to make it as attractive as possible. And enjoy it.

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 Roberto Leal in ‘Operación Triunfo’

Have you talked to the contestants in this break time? Do you think it could affect them in the face of the final stretch having been in contact with the public for two months?

I’ve talked to many of them and they really want to see each other. I think what at first was rare for everyone, to go out and find out what is thought of them, where is the industry and life in general, in the end it also gives a unique or historical nuance to an edition that from the beginning has been different. You already know what you like about them, what you like less, where people have seen them shine the most, and I think it is information that they should also make the most of and in these last four galas put it at the service of everyone. I think it will be interesting too, it will be a new Operation Triumph.

Have you already chosen the tuxedo for the Chimes with Pedroche?

(laughs) I haven’t thought about that at all! I think that Chicote and Pedroche form a wonderful tandem, I am a friend and companion of both, and no no no. That hasn’t even crossed my mind. Look what has happened in two months, everything that can happen from here to December!