Piqueras in Salamanca: «On December 14, 1988 I thought about quitting, I was afraid»

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Less than half a year has passed since Pedro Piqueras said: “Good night and see you forever.” Since then, he has tried to experience everything that he had not been able to until now, and also give different conferences. In this case, the students of the Colegio MayorNª Señora de Guadalupe, They have been able to see the news veteran without the skyline in the background. The journalist was the speaker at the Closing Ceremony of the 2023-2024 Academic Year, also naming him Honorary Schoolboy.

Could you tell me about Pedro without talking about journalism?

-Yes perfectly. What’s more, I think I’m more Pedro than Pedro Piqueras. Pedro is a normal guy from Albacete, who one day wanted to be a journalist, but before that he had been other things. I was an espadrille maker in my father’s store. I have liked many other things, mainly music. There was a time when he sang, played the guitar, and with that I paid my way through school. I have also really liked traveling. Lately, it may be because I’m getting older, I like cities with cathedrals more, like Salamanca. I have really liked life, although I think I have lived it little because of journalism. I’m going to ask for an extension so I can do all the things I haven’t done. Although there is always something of a journalist in Pedro who is not a journalist.

You have said on several occasions that for you, telling is singing and singing is telling. Do you have the regret of not having dedicated yourself to music?

—No, that’s it. I immediately started working in journalism and I liked it so much that I didn’t miss being a singer. I was the composer of some songs, which were terrible, so I’m not going to miss them. Although I am going to tell you one thing, I think that music is something inherent to me. When you’re playing any Frank Sinatra song, you’re not thinking about the People’s Party or the Socialist Party. I think that doing other things helps us live better and divert the focus of attention.

As a lover of your profession, when you think about your journey, what comes to mind?

—Surely, the beginnings. They were nice. I started with my degree and from the beginning I was working. I did an internship in a newspaper in Albacete, and then, in Madrid, I worked in two magazines. Later on Radio Exterior de España and from there, I no longer thought about anything other than working. The most beautiful moments have not just been those that people consider a success, the hardest ones have taught me more than the easy ones. I have been fired, I have been put in the hallways, I have had prime hours… I think the beauty of my career is that it is like that, mountains and valleys.

It is said that you have always embraced the viewer, how have you managed to not stay on the screen and enter homes?

—Maybe because I like to hug the viewer, and the non-viewer, too. You have to look at people squarely, in their eyes. I don’t like it when the news is told from one side. It seems to me that you have to tell people by looking at their faces. What I had to do was something that I really like, and that is to talk to people face to face and hug them, so that they feel that you are not telling it to an audience, but that you are telling it to them. I had to hold on to what I had to hold on to, which was the viewer and myself, that we spent those thirty minutes more or less hugging.

After 51 years in the profession, I sense that few things will surprise you. Do you remember any news that has marked you, in particular?

-If many. But the one that stood out the most was that of December 14, 1988. Spain was at a standstill and the public powers, the unions, the general management… decided that the only news there was going to be was mine. As you can imagine, it filled me with fear. I came to think that I had to leave it because I was terrified of appearing on screen. It was too much responsibility placed on the shoulders of a 30-year-old guy. All of Spain was waiting and it had a great impact on me. Others have marked me as well, but I think that was the one that marked me the most.

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He has interviewed a wide variety of people throughout his career. Is there a particular interviewee that surprised you?

—I have always tried not to make distinctions between those interviewed and for me everyone deserved equal treatment. I can assure you that yes, there are those that have surprised me more or less, but I won’t say why. If you ask me for the funniest, probably Rajoy. Then, for example, Pedro Sánchez, I think he has always been sincere in my interviews. I could say about Abascal that I thought he was going to be more distant and in the end he accepted the questions perfectly. In general I have not lost respect for any interviewee, among other things because it is a good way so that they do not lose respect for you.

Who would you have liked to interview but haven’t?

—I would have liked to interview Adolfo Suárez. From foreigners, to Obama. Then, to people on the street. There is a beggar at the door of , his name is Miguel Ángel and we know each other. I have interviewed him little by little, I have occasionally stopped to talk to him and he has more important stories than those that well-known people can tell us. Honestly, it would be a good interview.

You said before that you wanted to ask for an extension of time for this life, what things have you left to do?

—I was never able to go to my friend Carlos Hipólito’s theatrical premiere, we have been good friends for many years and I had never been able to go support him on the day of the premiere. This year, yes. I had never been to a Champions League match, ever. There will be people who can’t either due to economic issues but in general, everyone can go somewhere at nine at night. I recently went to the Bernabéu to watch against . Go to a San Isidro bullfight on a Wednesday afternoon. Go on vacation at a time other than August. People have been surprised to see that I said “I’m leaving.” To leave you have to meditate and decide: that you want to leave, first; how to leave and what you are going to do after you leave. People don’t know how to do it, they think that if they are missing, it will collapse, and my first key is: “there is no one essential.” In fact, I have a wonderful substitute, Carlos Franganillo.

Could you share a behind-the-scenes story that you remember?

—In recent years I was very tired and the last makeup artist I had, Fatima, a wonderful girl, one day told me: “I look bad today, you have bags under your eyes, is something wrong with you?” I explained to her that no, that she wanted to leave but she couldn’t find the time. There were many hours and she was already 67 years old. But I told him not to worry, that I wouldn’t be noticed on TV. And she didn’t notice. Because Jesús Hermida told me one day that I had to fall in love with the camera to connect with people. I have always believed that I have a love affair with the camera. You have to love your work weapon.

What do you think is the most important thing in a journalist?

—In the current panorama you find that this man says that it rains, but there is another who says that it does not rain. So, the journalist’s mission is to go out into the street and if it rains, say “it rains.” Then you can add that despite what you say, there are those who say that it doesn’t rain, but you are the one who has to tell things.

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