As you will have read on our previous blog post by Chris Chaplow, New Year’s Eve here in Andalucia was unexpectedly eventful.
On the Canal Sur TV countdown to 2015, which is an important tradition for many Andalucian families, the 12 campanadas (chimes of midnight) were interrupted by advertisements, so that people could not eat their traditional 12 grapes, one for each chime. Instead, coffee and motorcycle racing were peddled on the screens of outraged and confused southern Spaniards. The presenters themselves were unaware of the grave error in their transmission.
This technological blip caused consternation from Ayamonte to Almeria, and trended on Twitter. The next day, it was announced that the head of the relevant department, Continuity and Emissions, had tendered his resignation. That’s how serious it was.
Yesterday, the saga had another chapter, in a typically cheeky Andalucian style.
The TV channel issued a message saying “Ya que no podemos devolverte las Campanadas al menos dejanos devolverte la sonrisa.” (Although we can’t bring the chimes back, at least let us bring your smile back.) The attached hashtag was #carbonparacanalsur, with a two-minute video.
Tomorrow is Dia de los Reyes Magos here in Spain, when the Three Kings (or Wise Men in English folklore) bring presents to children across the land if they’re been good (they come to houses at night on their camels, so appropriate snacks are left out). If they’ve been naughty, they get coal.
In the video, two men are organising the filling of sacks of coal for Canal Sur – they receive phone calls asking for 20kg of coal, then another 50kg for the Spanish TV channel. They say that they’ve had 20,000 calls from Almeria, which is where the disastrous countdown took place.
“Las uvas lo que tenemos que haber hecho como Dios manda.” We should have done the grapes as God commands – in other words, in the correct fashion, without commercial breaks.
“Colorada tengo yo la cara” (My face is coloured) says one of the men – as in both dirty, from the coal, and embarrassed. “Cuando uno hace las cosas malamente, hay que pedir perdon.” (When you do something badly, you need to say sorry.) Apologies, and admissions of wrong-doing, are far from common here in Andalucia, especially by regional institutions.
The men also talk about Canal Sur’s 26 years of dedication, and mention a big surprise which is coming on 28 February. And, of course, they slip in a plug for the TV coverage of the Cabalgata (6.15pm) – Three Kings’ Procession which takes place this afternoon. Without ads.
The video has had over 500,000 hits in the 24 hours since it was posted.