|Country of origin Portugal|
No. of episodes 24
First episode date 15 October 2006
Presented by Maria Elisa
Genre Documentary film
|Original language(s) Portuguese|
Original network RTP 1
Final episode date 25 March 2007
Number of episodes 24
|Developed by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal|
Production company(s) Rádio e Televisão de Portugal
Similar Gato Fedorento, De Grootste Nederlander, El Gen Argentino, Diz que é uma Espécie d, Velikite Balgari
Os Grandes Portugueses (English: The Greatest Portuguese) was a public poll contest organized by the Portuguese public broadcasting station RTP and hosted by Maria Elisa. Based on BBC's 100 Greatest Britons, it featured individual documentaries advocating the top ten candidates. The final vote took place on 25 March 2007, the winner being António de Oliveira Salazar, Portugal's dictator between 1932 and 1968.
The top ten
President António de Oliveira Salazar, whose programme was presented by Jaime Nogueira Pinto, polled the most (41%); his lifelong communist political opponent Álvaro Cunhal was second (19%), and the diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes third (13%).
Salazar is often described, from a right-wing viewpoint, as a model of competence, conservatism, rigor, and public service devotion, despite the authoritarianism of his regime, its suppression of political dissent, and repressive state police. A simultaneous opinion poll conducted by Marktest showed that, given the choice of the finalists, Salazar was the favourite of only 11%. RTP itself commissioned a simultaneous poll, conducted by Eurosondagem, which ranked Salazar 7th, with 6.6% of the vote, and Afonso I 1st with 21%. The difference of these statiscally representative polls to the final result suggest that the voting, consisting of voluntary telephone calls, may have been skewed by groups with vested interests.
The 10 most voted-for personalities were revealed on 14 January 2007. All of the 10 finalists are deceased. The highest placed living Portuguese was former president Mário Soares (12th). On 25 March the final results were announced:
- António de Oliveira Salazar – President between 1932 and 1968 (41.0%)
- Álvaro Cunhal – Politician (19.1%)
- Aristides de Sousa Mendes – Diplomat (13.0%)
- Afonso I – King (12.4%)
- Luís Vaz de Camões – Poet (4.0%)
- John II – King (3%)
- Henry the Navigator – Prince (2.7%)
- Fernando Pessoa – Poet (2.4%)
- Marquês de Pombal – Politician (1.7%)
- Vasco da Gama – Explorer (0.7%)
The other 90
Os Piores Portugueses
The SIC Notícias programme Eixo do Mal (Axis of Evil) held a parallel vote for Os Piores Portugueses (The Worst Portuguese), also won by António de Oliveira Salazar.