Luis Del Olmo: “I went out on the street and people looked at me like I was an idol” | Catalonia

Luis del Olmo is 85 years old and it seems, there at the heights of his head, more than 190 cm from the communicator, a cloak of white hair where the turbulence does not enter. Only a decade after his retirement, the presenter retains a sharp silhouette, and whoever knows him says watching his diet, he does not lose his elegant figure even under the hot summer heat. He attends the visit from his Roc de Sant Gaietà sanctuary, in Roda de Berà (Tarragona), a quaint beach corner next to the Roman arch that overlooks the old Via Augusta and where the 1970s journalist boldly landed for a “music festival like Benidorm’s”. The Expo-Canción is programmed for dozens of summers, with flashy artists: Julio Iglesias, Montserrat Caballe, Luis Lach, Juan Manuel Serrat, Miguel Rios, Demi Roussos or Mike Kennedy walking into a place they would have difficulty locating on a map. “There weren’t 1,000 people in the town,” says Del Olmo.

The weight of time tainted his memories, but strengthened the friendly mood of the man who harvested the character of Hurricane. He takes long strides through the rooms of his Radio Museum, while explaining the history of each device and the hundreds of photos that make up the exhibition. He has German, American, Chinese or Russian-made radios that he acquired during his travels. You have conducted programs from New York, Beijing or Moscow. Of all the instruments he keeps, standing next to the one he identifies as “Aunt Maria’s Radio”. He notes that the first radio broadcasts of his life were filtered through this loudspeaker.

Del Olmo always knew how to speak like someone singing a lullaby and he patented his tone of voice as an addictive substance. “I started working on the radio in shorts, because it amuses me, but I wanted to be a mining doctor,” he says. Born in Ponferrada, the trace of mining in Bierzo was present in that boy who stood in front of the microphone as he left the institute. His early years in commerce were a career of chance: some clever Asturian spending summers in Lyon warned of the “interesting voice” of this boy who was playing on local radio. They took him to Oviedo, to the SER, where he stayed for a short time, before returning to his land: “They doubled my salary.” His mother, Donna Emerita, fell ill and required surgery in Madrid. “On a walk, I went to Radio Juventud and there I met Matthias Prats’ father.” They chatted and learned that an opposition had been summoned to fill the vacancies. “Suddenly I saw myself giving out informative handouts, and National Radio Spokesperson” He says.

He asserts that he is a naive and frank young man who left a piece of his heart in every study he entered. Not so much because he succumbed to the microphone, but also because he was a stubborn fan and wherever he went he fell in love with the “editor on duty”. Before meeting Mercedes Gonzalez, merchHis wife and companion have three children, which the announcer says was “a bit ridiculous”. Dressed in velvet as it emerges from the popular broadcaster’s throat, Blame is the iconic voice of time and country. his program Ansar It has been on the media pulse for nearly 40 years. It swept the masses and was a contested piece for networks and advertisers. Only Iñaki Gabilondo, at SER, has managed to take that pulse. “I lived well with the radio,” he admits. “I went out on the street and people looked at me like I was an idol, and I lived that happily ever after,” he admits. It was showered on Radio Nacional de España, Onda Cero, Cadena COPE and Punto Radio, always with a common start: “Good morning Spain, this is Luis del Olmo speaking.” In the museum, in front of a life-size portrait of him, repeated by the now retired broadcaster, the smell of coffee with milk seemed to fill the air.

img beforeimg after

The caller, who was the undisputed leader of Morning Radio, is 85 years old. Carlos Ribas

What affects the most is the closest to what happens. In order not to miss anything, subscribe.


He has nine grandchildren and is settled between Barcelona and Roda de Beira, lives much quieter than when he was chained early on and had to live with two escorts because he was a target of the ETA. He claims to keep his head occupied, “I don’t have time to get bored,” and carries with him a little diary full of doodles. “Here’s my memory,” he says. You don’t need to resort to notes to remember the details of the fraud you suffered at the hands of your supervisor and your best friend.

Del Olmo is considered innovative, because he took talk shows to radio (the kind that triumphed to the point of indigestion) and established a more direct relationship with the listener. He has reduced the treatment of the current policy with overwhelmingly successful divisions such as The state of the nation debate, by a selection of high-profile comedians, such as Tip, Cole, Tito B. Diagonal (Jordi Estadilla), Mingot or Forges. It was Juan Carlos Ortega, one of the humorous tightrope walkers he collaborated with. In a report broadcast by TVE, Ortega compared Del Olmo to Beethoven: “Now we consider him a classic, but at that time he turned his career upside down.” Inaki Jabilundo often stated that his rival “was the first to set the path for the rest of us to follow”. Del Olmo remembers those glory days with gratitude: “I had the best professionals by my side.”

You can follow EL PAÍS Catalunya at Facebook s Twitteror sign up here to receive Weekly newsletter

50% off

Subscribe to continue reading

Unlimited reading

Leave a Comment