My Iberia Plus Sara  Martinez

Victoria Martín and Carolina Iglesias get (almost) serious to chat with us

 Winners of the 2021 Ondas Award for Best Podcast or Digital Broadcast for Estirando el chicle (Stretching the Chewing Gum), Victoria Martín (@livingpostureo) and Carolina Iglesias (@percebesygrelos) answer our questions.

Portraits by de Rubén Errebeene

What does it feel like being the interviewees and not the interviewers?

Carolina Iglesias: Well, relaxing... Since you know the answers, it’s nice. It’s cool that there are people interested in talking with us. It’s enough to answer properly and not spout nonsense...

Victoria Martín: That’s true, because I’m very much about naming names and then I get told off. I can’t help it, although I’m gradually controlling myself. We’re getting better at it and we’re more relaxed. But get me to talk and I’ll tell you everything.

The readers who don’t know you shouldn’t be afraid...

CI: Well, our audience flies a lot.

VM: Yes, our audience is very much about having Avios, redeeming them and taking off for anywhere. I don’t really know if they’re really into planes, but I love them because they offer me the only moment in my life with a few hours of relaxation. And when we travel together because of the shows, it’s our time to talk and tell each other how we’re doing. The time on the airplane is for confessions.

The series Válidas brought you together artistically for the first time. But how did you meet?

VM: On the radio. On Friday, Carolina was on Vodafone’s yu programme with Dani Mateo, which Ana Morgade now hosts. I was doing a section and I really liked working with Carolina and doing the section with her, and I asked to go on Fridays. So we got to know each other and one day we met up to drink some beer and that’s how it all developed.

CI: Love ‘developed’.

VM: Although it’s going to run out from being used too much.

Victoria Martín y Carolina Iglesias, las creadoras de Estirando el chicle

Was it more humour than love at first sight?

CI: I don’t know if it was humour at first sight... [both laugh]. We constantly ran into each other, but actually we went out drinking beer when I had already left radio. Until I left radio and we saw each other outside, we didn’t see how well we matched in the ways we thought, saw comedy, understood creativity. We have very different styles, but we found chemistry and we’ve become even better friends.

Did you expect your podcast to become one of Spain’s most listened to?

VM: No way. We started at home and during the lockdown... It was just something else to keep on ‘stretching the chewing gum’ – which is why it’s called that – of the series. Later, no one cared about the series compared to the podcast. The idea of the podcast was for just us to trash talk, and the guest thing was because we got on Podium Podcast. Everything has evolved organically. I think that’s why the audience feels good listening to us and having us with them during the pandemic.

Have podcasts become the Netflix of radio?

VM: Well, a Netflix with less money, right? [laughs]

CI: As a genre, it’s been in existence for many years, but right now it’s booming. The programme can be heard, and people can also watch it on YouTube with images, but there are a lot of people who only listen to it. It’s said that young people don’t listen to radio, but we have a lot of listeners on audio platforms. People do listen, on trips, for instance. I myself always listened to music, and now I mix it with podcasts. When I take the dog out, when I’m working, when I’m travelling...

VM: Yes, I’m the same. I used to listen to radio because I’ve always been a bit of an old soul. When I moved to podcasts, I discovered a lot of them that are fun to listen to as you’re travelling – such as La Ruina. You think, “Well, now I’ve got like an hour and a half of that four-hour trip covered.” Young people no longer have that cultural thing of watching something at a certain time, because they’ve never had it. They’ve always lived with on-demand platforms, and they’ve never needed to go at a certain time to watch Acusados (which was my favourite series) or UPA Dance.

What place in Spain offers comedy to women? And what future? In interviews, you have questioned the fact that we become invisible after we turn 40...

VM: Well, it’s not a question. It’s real. But I trust that it’s going to change because all of us women are doing a huge job and I believe that – simply as a matter of divine justice – it should happen.

CI: Yes, we work for us, but we also think about all our female colleagues and about the future. That Estirando el chicle is doing well is a privilege, a luxury and good luck, but it can’t be a one-off case. There must be a lot more cases, because there’s plenty of material. It’s not about a lack of format. What’s needed is for institutions and the rest of the platforms and places of power to make room for all the female comedians brimming with talent. Not having female comedians on your programmes is absurd and outdated. It’s not realistic. The world is full of diverse women who work in comedy.

Victoria Martín y Carolina Iglesias, Estirando el chicle

If you were going to interview a man, which one would interest you? Why?

VM: Buenafuente, I think.

CI: Yes, Buenafuente. Or Berto. They’ve behaved very well with us and I’d like a conversation with them. In addition, we’ve talked a lot off camera about the world of podcasts, because it’s a format that they also like. Obviously, we admire their work.

VM: I think that Buenafuente is aware of the reality he lives in, and has tried to rebuild it and to change it. To me, that alone means something... it’s much more than what would have happened on other channels, on other platforms or on other programmes. And they’re fantastic colleagues. They treat us without condescension, as equals, and they also try to make comedy diverse.

CI: Anyone who leaves their ego out of things and helps you to grow... We want all those people in our lives.

When someone stands before the microphone in such a candid way, where does the character end and the person begin?

CI: That has to be defined from the beginning.

VM: Yes. At the beginning, I was more a character, because it was hard to open myself up in an authentic way. But then there are programmes that have revealed parts of me. It’s really, really, hard for me to talk seriously. Carolina used to tell me that I have to open myself up more and talk about my problems. That’s hard for me in my life, too. But on Estirando el chicle, you get to a point at which that bubble bursts and you speak from your most authentic self. What works is that we’re 100 per cent real, 100 per cent us.

As popularity grows, do haters as well? Victoria, you’ve been saying a lot lately that people are picking on you more and more...

CI: Well, she also exaggerates. She exaggerates a lot. She sees a negative comment and says, “They’re saying to us a lot that...”, and I’ve actually only seen one comment.

VM: Yes, I really can’t stand it when I make a bad impression on others. I insult everyone, so I can’t expect to make a good impression on everyone. I’m hurt by negative comments. Not like when we’re called fat or sluts – I couldn’t care less about that. It’s when they make a real criticism about the programme... Although I’m sure that people don’t do it with bad intentions, if it happens at a bad time, it really hurts you a lot. But I try to relativise it. We do it with all our love and, if someone doesn’t like it, let them listen to something else. We’re doing entertainment, not open heart surgery.

CI: Absolutely. In the end, it’s the stuff about disappointing people... We review ourselves every day. We give our best, not only at work, but also to do humour that deals with today’s issues, talking about things that are happening now. And we’ll obviously make mistakes, but mistakes are part of the improvement process. I don’t mind disappointing my friends. I wouldn’t be disappointed if my friends listened to the programme and told me that they didn’t recognise me at some point or that they expected me to say something else. It’s the same with what’s good. I don’t make a big deal out of what’s good. I celebrate it – it inspires me and encourages me to continue – because our audience gives us a lot of support, but I don’t make it more important than it is, get a big head or do anything crazy at all.

Carolina, you’ve become a reference (even won an award this year) for the LGTBI+ collective. What has prompted you to be visible?

CI: My problem when I accepted that I was bisexual was that I had no bisexual role models. And that’s when I realised that it was important to be visible. I’m not trying to be annoying, but I think that it’s necessary to remember – especially when you get to big spaces and talk about plurality, when I talk about my ex-boyfriend or girlfriend – to include in my discourse the plurality that I never found for myself throughout my life. It’s not because I had to; it’s a natural step. After the process and how hard it was for me to accept what it was – it was really hard for me – the least I could do was try to help someone in my situation. I don’t want to give lessons on anything, but if being visible helps, well... it is what I am in my life and it is what I am going to be.

Which one of you has kept the Ondas award?

VM: Carol’s got it.

CI: I have.


CI: Actually, because Vicky took it at the beginning and then one day I took it to Buenafuente... We’ve ordered a replica.

Or you’ll have to win another one?

VM: For the moment, we’ll have to make a copy... What I want is a Grammy, or to get an Oscar for the best screenplay because the film I’m making about my life truly deserves it. But no, no. One is enough for us. They should give the next one to Buenafuente and Berto, who are just starting out and the boost will do them good.