Esther Mucientes Madrid


Updated Thursday, February 8, 2024-9:30 p.m.

  • Television Mediaset's risky challenge to resurrect the heart on the new Telecinco: "My mother blackmailed the King and I took the photos, many photos"

  • LOC Ángel Cristo: "My mother put orfidal in my bottle"

At the beginning of the new Millennium , Santi Acosta

was the presenter par excellence of the television heart. For four years he was in charge of the legendary

Salsa Rosa

, father of many of the programs that came later; then,

Sábado Dolce Vita

and then everything changed.

This journalist went from salsa to documentary and for many years he focused his career on the production of specials such as the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the Constitution or the praised documentary

Save the King

. Although television never completely abandoned her and she continued in programs like

Ruta 179

, it was not until 2023 when

Santi Acosta

reconnected his career with


. It was because of

Ana Obregón

and the surrogate pregnancy of his granddaughter. Mediaset picked up the phone and offered him to prepare and produce a special in which he once again took the lead as presenter. Because? Because Santi Acosta wants to be where there is a story. And he doesn't care where that story comes from, who tells it or the impact it may have.

Months after that, let's call it a dalliance, when the heartfelt programs on television had practically disappeared, Mediaset announced

¡De Viernes!


Santi Acosta

changed course again to put himself, together with

Beatriz Archidona

, at the helm of a program whose success has not only surprised the network, but also the competition, since there were many who, after the end of


, believed that the heart on television it had stopped beating. Well, from death, nothing.


has become a kind of exception that would confirm that rule.

Santi Acosta

reveals to us that it did not cost him "anything" to return to the world of gossip "because I am interested in stories from all over the world and I don't care what field they are from." And there is not only the key that made Santi Acosta return but also that

¡De Viernes!

took the crown of the best

prime time

premiere on Telecinco in 2023. Since its first program, on November 24,

¡De Viernes!

It averages a 12.3%


and 1,076,000 viewers. Taking into account that the average of the chain on a few days exceeds 10%, talk about the success of

¡De Viernes!

It is no exaggeration.

Did you expect the success that ¡De Viernes!

has had?

especially when it becomes the only program with pure heart's content that there is now on television? Waiting is not the verb but rather praying to achieve it. There are projects that when they arrive you know they are going to work, but you always live with the fear that they will not work as expected. However, with


Yes, the good expectations were met. When things fit and it turns out to be successful, that reconciles you with what you have experienced and what you have learned. There has never been a heart space of this type and seeing that it has a place and the viewer likes it is a wonderful feeling. You were the presenter of

Salsa Rosa

from 2002 to 2006. Now, 20 years later you return to the world of gossip. How has the way of telling the heart on television changed?

Now the pace is faster than before because social networks have absorbed us all. But we have found the balance, although it is complicated because approaching that more documentary part today, precisely because of that pace, is very difficult. Spending five hours talking to that week's character without anyone interrupting you is very interesting for the interviewee. It is a success of the direction of the program for the character to speak calmly and without haste because in those conversations things always come out that without that calm would never be seen.

And how has the way in which viewers watch heartfelt programs changed? The viewer expects something more than before, but they always expect something new and even if they are well-known characters in ¡De Viernes! They always tell something they have never told before. The audience always expects something new and something different. I think that with that change of pace that he talked about before, the viewer wants to be given a mix of all of this.


, even though it is a program of the heart, it has a difference that, although

Santi Acosta

attributes to the direction of the program, is actually more his own and his time in recent years in the world of documentaries and investigative journalism.

"The interview with Ángel Cristo was shocking from beginning to end (...) It was a catharsis for him"

Sitting for hours with a character and asking, asking and asking or simply listening, listening and listening, is that turning point that has made characters like

Ángel Cristo Jr.


Fran Rivera

or the son of

Cándido Conde Pumpido

sit down in front of the journalist to relate aspects of his life that would probably never have been told before on television, much less on a gossip program.


Friday arrived!

On the Telecinco grid, the program has obtained interviews with characters that no one would imagine would agree to expose themselves like this. Where is the secret? How do you achieve, manage, prepare and measure interviews of this type? The secret is that they trust you. When journalists go to interview someone, they have to trust us to first sit down, but above all to tell feelings as intimate as those they tell in the program. Once the character has said yes, there is a team of scriptwriters who review the biography to prepare the interview, then we meet our guest in a pleasant space with two cameras and there we spend as much time as the interviewee wants. With Ángel Cristo it was a couple of days, but I assure you that until now there has not been any interview that has lasted less than 5 hours. And this is when you have to be clear that you cannot cut off the interviewee. When a person has all the time to talk, he speaks and tells.

Of all of them, which has been the most complicated for you and for the program and why? For me, each one has something special. Ángel Cristo's was an interview that greatly impacted me and public opinion also because he had never come out to speak and, furthermore, with such harsh statements. It was a powerful interview from start to finish. Everything from blackmailing the King to his personal experience. That interview fascinated me. And Fran Rivera's too. And Conde Pumpido's was the current interview of the moment and it is a place where we have to be.

What would you say to those who continue to 'mistreat' popular programs and those who compare you to


, after the network is in the process of renewing its image.

Well look, we are making a different heart and above all a heart in which the guest is respected without stoning anyone on the set. The key is respect and that is our


that we try to apply in all programs. You ask, you question, but always maintaining respect. That sometimes we cannot make mistakes, it is possible, I am not perfect, but I try to make everything very respectful.

When interviews occur at these levels, they always talk about the money that has been paid for them. Do you think it's worth exposing yourself in that way for money? We interview those people and we pay those people because they are giving an interview. I have no problem with it or with the amount they charge. What they are paid seems perfect to me. Then it is up to each of them to decide what they are going to tell about their life. Now, I tell you, everyone who has been through

¡De Viernes!

For now, they have come out happy. Ángel Cristo Jr., for example, has experienced a catharsis and I think he needed to give his dimension to his story. Everyone who sits on our set does so because it's worth it to them for whatever reason. Plus, our program formula makes it easy for you.

Now you are facing

El Desafío

, one of the highest-rated programs on television. Are you concerned, pressuring or demanding? For me, competition is wonderful and

El Desafío

is a great format. As in many other fields, when you relax, they pass you to the left, to the right, above and below and here we all look for audience data. So we look for new weapons and we look for our viewers. We have to work hard all week, but I love the competition!


Salsa Rosa


Sábado Dolce Vita

you focused on the production of documentaries. Did you give much thought to returning to the heart? Why now? The reason was the interviews. What I like most about this profession is interviewing and telling people's stories. You can do it in politics, in tourism or in heart. I don't care who they are or what they talk about because I'm interested in the stories they teach me and show me. Plus, interviewing on a set is challenging and always fun. At this point in our careers, it is key to work comfortably with people you love and who love you. Are there going to be more surprises? Of course there will be. If there are no surprises, they will fire us all.