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Julio Muñoz, the ‘Rancio’ who hosts ‘the radio that can be seen’ | Television

by Isabella Walker
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Julio Muñoz Gijón (Seville, 42 years old) believes he is “just part of Rancio”, and not the other way around. There are more than 100,000 of them followers on X (the old Twitter) I know what he means: this Sevillian journalist who started 15 years ago as a television reporter, his “first hit“was the broadcast of the program Direct Spain of the 2011 Lorca earthquake, when the bell tower of the municipality’s church literally collapsed next to him: he was one of the first to understand the potential of social networks. In that universe of few characters but maximum interaction, he first appeared as @Rancio in 2012, an irreverent and scathing alter ego for which he continues to be known today, and even revered, with a legion of fans which grows exponentially.

Humor allowed him to put the iron idiosyncrasy of the traditional Sevillian, custodian of essences, in front of the mirror of his contradictions – read: from Holy Week and orthodoxy in traditions, to his most singular characters: José Manuel Soto, Lopera. .. no one escaped Rancio’s tweets— and was the germ of everything that came after: writer of novels with great popular success – with more than 100,000 copies sold -, screenwriter of documentaries for various television platforms, competitor in a reality and also a beer entrepreneur – he created the Rancia beer, to the delight of his followers – Julio Muñoz also worked for eight years as digital communications manager of the Spanish football team (“I never thought that the dismissal from Rubiales would be it’s a merit to put it on your CV”, he jokes).

It was during the years in which he lived in Madrid that @Rancio was born in response to an increasingly accentuated nostalgia for his homeland. Back in Seville, Julio Muñoz is now celebrating four years as a reference for programming dedicated to humor and current affairs on Cadena SER Andalucía. Responsible for the daily program The chamber of the spheres, a review of current sporting events told in a hilarious tone by the new magazine It just can’t be (on Cadena SER+), where he puts into practice everything that the combination of social networks and humor has taught him, Muñoz is clear when he talks about his relationship with the airwaves: “Radio is probably what I like most: it generates a complicity with those who listen to you, something that cannot be done either with a book or with television”, recognizes this all-round journalist who has a lot of “Clark Kent: I enter the cabin and quickly change my suit”.

Julio Muñoz during the interview with EL PAÍS. PACO PUENTES

“Welcome to the radio that you see, the radio of laughter. Today we want to share three goals with you: have fun, meet interesting people and learn things, because when we learn something, the day is already worth it.” Rancio thus becomes part of the program every day from Monday to Thursday. It just can’t be“a space of freedom that Cadena SER Andalucía gave us where we deal in a fun way with topics that have no reason to be”, says the journalist, who goes further when he tries to explain the content underlying his program: “We simply do the program we would like to listen to.”

Muñoz speaks in the plural because on the radio he found the company of the comedian and monologist Juan Amodeo (1.1 million followers on Instagram) and the journalists Luis Márquez and Rocío Vicente, from the audiovisual sector, a quartet that connected the Cadena SER Andalucía with new audiences, a segment of society that was separating itself from the airwaves as it had been known until now: the followers of It just can’t be These are, for the most part, young people between 18 and 35 who approached the program through social networks and digital platforms. The chamber of the spheres, the most listened to program in its time slot in Andalusia, has more than 30,000 monthly downloads and No puede SER, an average of 12,000.

“The radio is very Martian, when it’s done it seems like no one hears you, you’re alone in a studio talking to who knows who. But if I suddenly say something funny live and it works, my phone lights up 17 times with WhatsApp notifications or for mentioning us on social media. It’s a out of mind. This is the best EGM there is,” reflects Muñoz.

Within that space of freedom, which allowed him to reinterpret the most classic traditions and transform them into discourses of modernity, Julio Muñoz is clear about his limits: “Treat any topic with humor, but without leaving victims”. And he explains: “For me it is a pride to be able to talk to a boy suffering from achondroplasia who dies from laughing and joking, and the next day to receive compliments from the Achondroplasia Association of Andalusia. To be funny you don’t have to offend anyone, that’s the limit of humor.”

The journalist also assures that the radio has become the vehicle that puts his followers in contact with his novels. Julio Muñoz Rancio has become a publishing phenomenon since he published it in 2012 The assassin scoldedfirst title of a trilogy that is completed with The Palodú crime AND The Prisoner of East Sevillea mix of humor and detective novel starring the police couple Jiménez and Villanueva, which despite making a hilarious reinterpretation of the most consolidated local clichés, “where it has sold the most is in Barcelona”, says the author.

To date it has 14 titles in black and white if we add the novel just published and it represents a change of record: true crime (Editorial El Paseo), a thriller where the perfect crime intersects, the true crime television and twists as surprising as they are documented in real cases: “It was a whim that the publishers allowed me because I was able to sell many of the previous books,” laughs Muñoz. This detective novel gives its author the most journalistic profile, since it is a fiction built after his period as a screenwriter for a television production company that was preparing a series of documentaries on criminals: drugs, murderers, high-profile thieves… – who shamelessly confess their crimes on camera.

“I’m not the best mystery writer in this country, but my material is unique, first-hand,” he explains, who also boasts of having recruited with his novels “many people who don’t read: for me, another great prize it’s that” A father told me during a signing that he made his children read thanks to my books.”

And at the center of everything, continue the social networks, “without a doubt the most epicentric of everything I do” and what gives harmony to this drawer of disasters that houses the unbridled creativity of Julio Muñoz: wherever there is Andalusian, humor and a story to tell tells, you will find this journalist: «I do many things, there are those who tell me it’s madness, but I don’t live it like that: I only deal with what I think I can do well» he confesses.

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