There are few more charismatic and memorable television presenters in Spain’s modern era than 58-year-old Jesús Vázquez. Born in Ferrol, Galicia, Vázquez moved to Madrid before he could finish his education to become a veterinary practitioner, going on to work in the Spanish capital as a model instead. Some years later, he clinched roles to host Telecinco’s La Quinta Marcha and Habiando se Entiende la Basca – a brace of television shows aimed at the next generation of Spaniards.
The emergence of Vázquez across Spain’s entertainment industry
He shot to stardom alongside Penelope Cruz in La Quinta Marcha and two years later, Vázquez secured a role in a movie titled Aqui el Que No Corre, Vulea, released in 1992. 12 months later, Vázquez branched out into the music industry too, releasing a Gold Record certificate-winning album, A Dos Milimetros Escasos de tu Boca.
Although Vázquez’s music career was short-lived, his TV career was only just getting off the ground. By the late 1990s, he secured work with Canal Sur, presenting A Proposito, as well as a celebrity-based gameshow, Gente con Chispa. In 2001, Vázquez secured work with Telemadrid to be the head of chat show Esta es mi Gente. He also headed up the Spanish Popstars series which was becoming a global phenomenon along with other reality TV shows.
Spain’s best-loved reality television show presenter
In fact, Vázquez was the face of many of Spain’s most popular reality TV series. He hosted the weekly debate show of Gran Hermano and the celebrity versions of Gran Hermano, followed by other reality shows such as Vivo Cantando, Hotel Glam, Survivor and Operacion Triunfo.
Following the merger of Cuatro and Telecinco into Mediaset España, Vázquez was the leading presenter for the Cuatro arm of the network. He hosted more reality game shows including Uno Para Ganar and Pekin Express. In 2012, Vázquez was lured back to Telecinco to be the face of La Voz, the Spanish version of The Voice. He’s also fronted Got Talent España and anti-bullying documentary Proyecto Bullying, focused on the rising issue of bullying in schools. It’s a subject that’s close to the heart of Spanish actress Blanca Marsillach too.
Vázquez has even dabbled in the food and drink reality show scene, presenting Bake Off España for Cuatro in 2019, and he was the original host of the Spanish version of Deal or No Deal.
Earlier this year it was revealed that the box-based game show Deal or No Deal would return to Spanish television screens with Vázquez back at the helm. The show, which originally broadcast between 2004 and 2008, will be aired on Telecinco under the production of Banijay Iberia label, Gestmusic.
This news was announced while Deal or No Deal was being resurrected in the UK too, with the British version set to be presented by long-serving host, Stephen Mulhern. Deal or No Deal is an enduring franchise in so many ways, due largely to its simplistic game dynamics which allow viewers to make emotional connections to the action. It’s been the ideal choice for an online slot game too. The branded progressive jackpot slot is currently one of the eight most popular options at PokerStars Casino, which lists several other Jackpot King progressive slots within its suite of games.
Vázquez’s passionate role away from the rolling cameras
In 2008, Vázquez became the first Spaniard to be named a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency. Vázquez is no stranger to acts of kindness towards refugees. He’s been the notable face of the Radio Dadaab-Kenya project, an initiative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which launched a new radio station connecting three new refugee camps in the Dadaab region, close to the Kenya-Somalia border.
In short, Vázquez is a charismatic, caring television personality who has been at the forefront of popular culture in Spain for more than a generation. One can only hope he continues to grace us with his presence on screen for many more years to come, although, as he nears his 60th birthday, a well-earned retirement is by no means out of the question.