El gran debate (“The Great Debate”) is a Spanish TV show focused on key Spanish debates relevant to the present moment in Spain, such as “Will the public health service remain free?”, “Should prostitution be legalised?” and “Should there be greater investigation into the Franco Dictatorship?”. This Spanish TV show is hosted by Jordi González, with special collaboration from Sandra Barneda, and is shown on prime-time Saturday nights at 22:00 on Spanish TV Channel Telecinco.
The great thing about Spanish TV is that it is freely available on the internet via the websites of the major Spanish TV channels such as TVE1, TVE2, Telecinco, Antena 3 and Cuatro, no matter where you live in the world. With all of my posts here on The Spanish Blog about Spanish TV I include direct links to watch the discussed programmes free online. This is a fantastic way to practice your Spanish listening skills and pick up lots of vital vocabulary and expressions. Watching television in another language is never easy at first, but stick with it and be patient, it will be well worth the effort. The key is to try and find TV programmes that you are genuinely enjoy and are interested in. When you really get into a programme you forget that you are also “studying” and your command of the foreign language improves in leaps and bounds. Click here for a full list of all the other Spanish TV shows I have covered so far.
El gran debate began on January 14th 2012 as a direct replacement for the previous long-standing Telecinco talk show La noria, which was also hosted by Jordi González. La noria was pulled off the channel amid a storm of controversy surrounding its decision to invite the mother of “El cuco” onto the programme, paying her a vast sum of money for the privilege and guaranteeing itself a huge audience. La noria had deployed similar tactics over the years with other high profile guests, but on this occasion the public uproar led the withdrawal of all its sponsors. El cuco was one of the youths accused of being involved in the killing of 17 year old Marta del Castillo on the night of January 24 2009. El gran debate had the mission of cleaning up the image and reputation of Telecinco, whilst also maintaining it’s very popular and lucrative talk show debating formula with Jordi González at the helm.
La noria used to dabble with more tabloid style issues (“La prensa rosa”), whereas El gran debate sticks to serious issues that are relevant to each particular week of broadcasting. These are some of the debates: Trabajo:¿a qué precio?, ¿Confía en la justicia?, ¿Se acaba la sanidad gratuita?, ¿Es la vivienda un derecho o un lujo?, ¿Olvidar la dictadura o investigarla?, La educación en España: ¿Aprueba o suspende?, Iñaki Urdangarin, ¿Inocente o culpable?, ¿Hay que limitar el derecho al aborto?, and ¿Estamos desprotegidos ante las estafas?. As you can see these are all very important and interesting issues for debate. This is an excellent programme to watch for those of you with an interest in Spanish current affairs and a great place to get to see first hand how Spanish debates work. They can regularly get pretty animated and heated!
Jordi González Belart was born in Barcelona on September 26th 1962. He is a Spanish journalist and television presenter. He began his career working for Radio Popular and then after one year moved to Cadena SER where he directed and appeared on Radio Barcelona Radio programmes. He began his Spanish television career in 1990 with TVE when he worked on Catalan TV game show “3×4”. In 1991 he worked on TVE magazine show “La palmera” before moving to Antena 3 TV channel in 1993 for another game show “El turista habitual”. Jordi González, however, is now synonymous with Spanish TV channel Telecinco and he has stayed with this channel since 1997 when he was chosen to replace stalwart Spanish TV presenter Javier Sardà on the debate show “Moros y cristianos” which launched his career there. He is probably most famous for his work on shows such as “Gran hermano” (Big Brother), “La noria”, “La noria express” and “El gran debate”.