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No one can say a bad word about Boris Izaguirre (Caracas, Venezuela, 1965) since he arrived in Spain in 1992. After participating as a scriptwriter in several projects and collaborating in different television programmes, he achieved fame with Crónicas marcianas, when Xavier Sardà called him to join the show, where he became a media phenomenon with his stellar and provocative appearances, which drove up the audience ratings. Since then, he has become one of the best-known faces on Spanish television. He can now be followed on Sundays on La 1, in Lazos de sangre, a programme dedicated to well-known personalities.

At the age of 16, you started writing social chronicles in the Caracas newspaper El Nacional. Did you already think at that time that you were going to devote yourself to journalism and literature in the future?
Yes, it was completely clear to me. My father was a film critic for the newspaper El Nacional, so I listened to him write his column every day, and sometimes I even went with him to collect the cheque for his work, which meant that I had already associated from an early age that you could earn money from writing and make a living from it.

When did you decide to live in Spain?
I was living in Buenos Aires, writing a soap opera called Inolvidable for a legendary film and television production company in the country, when they called me to travel to Spain to look for locations for a project they wanted to do for Galician television, and I stayed here. It was 1992, just the week after Hugo Chávez’s coup d’état.

After participating as a scriptwriter in several projects and collaborating in different television programmes, Xavier Sardà signed him up for Crónicas marcianas, which made him a media phenomenon. What has Sardà represented in your career?
Everything. By the time I met Xavier I had already thrown in the towel on achieving my dreams. I was a completely disoriented person and practically on the verge of giving up, because I thought that I was not going to be able to achieve anything here. Suddenly, Xavier appeared, and it was incredible because I think we liked each other very much from the very first moment. I was already collaborating in the radio programme La ventana, with Gemma Nierga, in which he played Mr. Casamajor, but I, like many other people, didn’t know that Sardà and Casamajor were the same person. It was a real surprise.

Journalist, TV presenter, scriptwriter, writer? Would you like to try something else?
No, because I think they are all related to writing. I started in television as a scriptwriter, and I wrote daily series, which is a job that is a bit like a peon’s job but which teaches you the trade perfectly, which is what I have developed later in my other incursions into television.

Everyone speaks very highly of you, even though you have a strong character.
Yes, it is true that I sometimes have a very bad temper, especially at home, with Rubén, my partner. Sometimes I would like to be more temperate with him because, from time to time, he makes decisions that are not the best for both of us.

You are currently presenting La 1’s Lazos de sangre, now in its fifth season. Of the characters who have appeared in the programme, who has had the greatest impact on you and who has refused to attend?
Personally, the programme about El Fary was one of the ones that had the greatest impact on me. I also really liked the ones about Manolo Escobar, Concha Piquer, which was a great moment, and Concha Velasco, who came to the programme. No one has refused to come, on the contrary, everyone wants a programme to be made for them, because it means recognition and I think the way the programme treats the biographies of the guests is very pleasant.

He has always been very close to the Bosé-Dominguín family. How do you see Miguel Bosé now?
Very well, we have been very close during the last months of 2022 and I have participated in the script of the series about his life, which has already been released in Latin America and will soon be released in Spain. I am also taking part in a documentary about him, in which I have been in charge of the script and the interview. I am always very close to Miguel, and his mother, Lucía, even closer. We were very good friends.

For 2023 you have a musical project that will unite you with Ainhoa Arteta. What does it consist of?
I’ve written the libretto of a zarzuela, and I’ve been very happy doing it. It was an idea of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, who four years ago invited me to lunch to consider writing a zarzuela. I’ve always wanted to evolve in drama, which is one of my great lifelong desires, and I thought it was an invitation I couldn’t refuse. The music is by Lucas Vidal, and Ainhoa Arteta is one of the principal singers in the project. We will begin rehearsals on 18 April.

We are living in times of enormous tension, whatever the issue, don’t you think?
That’s true, but sometimes, especially in cases of LGTBI rights, I think we often have to adapt to change. Faggot is no longer a word that you can use gracefully, because a person was beaten to death under that shout. There are gestures and attitudes that years ago you might have thought were funny and not so hurtful, but they still are. An example could be Samanta Vallejo-Nájera’s comment on MasterChef when she asked me if I liked football or footballers. It is not funny. It seems that, just because of my sexual orientation, it’s impossible to like both.

How do you see the LGTBI movement now?
I see it as more robust, but, unfortunately, it always needs to exercise its muscle because there are things that are unpleasant, such as hate crimes, that cannot be recognised as such and I think its recognition would be a great step forward in the fight for those rights.

Has your palate become more refined after several passes through MasterChef?
Yes, and also my way of cooking and my relationship with kitchen tools. In this latest edition I have been given a food processor, which is not just another household appliance for me and I look on it with great affection.

After Masterchef, who cooks at home?
Rubén has always cooked without any problems, while I have always needed cameras, lights and action to be able to do it. Rubén makes a great vegetable soup, but it could be so much more refined if I went in with the techniques I learnt in MasterChef.

Do you support sandwiches?
Yes, of course. I’m a man who works in television, and there are always sandwiches there. If I have to choose, my favourite is the salchichón, but I also like the one with Manchego cheese and Serrano ham. I like this one with the smaller, toasted bread.

Photo by Jaime Partearroyo.

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