«No, it’s not that I’m changing gears because I’m going to continue doing what I did before. In fact, my role is quite similar: I ask and scold a little. Ana Pastor begins the telephone conversation, downplaying the novelty, although it is inevitable that the news will surprise: as of tonight, the journalist who rose to fame for her incisive interviews with politicians is also a game show presenter. And not just anyone, but one designed by her own team, starring well-known faces and with an ambitious objective, to say the least: determining which is the best generation.

The idea for Generación top, which premieres this Wednesday night on laSexta in prime time, arose within Newtral, Pastor’s production company, at the beginning of last year, when they were immersed in the search for new formats. From one of those brainstorms came, for example, Cabinet of Crisis, the docuseries on disaster preparedness that led to the consecration of streamer Emilio Doménech, alias Nanísimo, as a television presenter at the end of the year.

But it was also on the minds of the producers to embark on the adventure of something very different, something that would represent a real challenge. «We started from something that we had already done with the galas of Where were you then», explains the presenter, «we really liked using archives and mixing different generations: Zapatero with the Javis, María Galiana with Errejón… Now we are looking bring that spirit to a family entertainment program.

The result is a general culture competition for teams, with the particularity that each group has one thing in common: the age group. The 90 participants who will undergo the test are divided into three groups: the Yeyé Generation, born between 1943 and 1967; the Cool Generation, born between 1968 and 1987; and the Like Generation, born between 1988 and 2005. The war of ages in Top Generation will have as opponents a multitude of well-known faces, organized in disparate trios for each broadcast: María del Monte, Terelu Campos, Sonsoles Ónega, Cristinini, Joaquín Reyes, Cristina Pedroche, Mónica Carrillo, La Pija y La Quinqui, Boris Izaguirre, Bibiana Fernández…

Proof that it is a family-friendly format was that my son praised the selection of young names

“The funny thing is that some enter a generation for a single year, so within each team there is also a lot of diversity,” says Pastor. For her, the experience has been “quite a discovery”: “And like for me, for some contestants it has also been the first time: Olga Viza, who for me is God; Monica Carrillo… The test of fire, however, was not passed by the presenter on the set, but at home, when her son Simón, 13, praised the selection of streamer names for the Generación Like team: “It was confirmation that we had given with a family program.

“In entertainment you seem nice, how good it suits you,” filmmaker Eduardo Casanova says to Ana Pastor in one of the installments. “This contest is not going to get me to dance,” she alleges in another program. The relaxed tone, a strong musical presence and jokes of all kinds between contestants and presenter set the tone for a format that is, in itself, a tribute to “old-fashioned” television. You just have to take a look at the names of their tests: One, two, test to 59 seconds; from Don’t trust it, which is worse than Look who sings; all seasoned with great moments from the small screen, from TV clowns to Bustamante and Bisbal’s Operación Triunfo.

The questions also brim with nostalgia: what was the name of the group that sang The Shark? Which series aired first: Baywatch or Fantastic Car? Which movie is later: Home Alone or You in London and I in California? «Everything is balanced by generations, you can’t ask about Lola Flores without also asking about Bizarrap, and people are very surprised. Some seem to have been born in the wrong generation,” says Ana Pastor.

The Madrid native acknowledges that the challenge has been tough, but also very fun: “Innovation is one of the most important things that we can and should allow ourselves as a producer,” she says, “the most difficult thing was learning the dynamics, I didn’t know that Developing the questions was so complicated, there are many and each one has to be verified as we know how to do in Newtral.

They began to shape Generación top in February, until the big moment arrived: Ana Pastor left the debate lectern to moderate an entertainment contest. “Actually, it’s not that different,” she admits with a laugh, “the atmosphere is more relaxed, but I would love for Feijóo and Sánchez to come and compete. Politicians have to get out of their comfort zone.