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# El Nombre

El Nombre is an animated masked Mexican gerbil originally from a series of educational television shows called Numbertime - a BBC schools programme about mathematics. His first appearance was in 1993 and he became such a success that his interstitial part was soon extended to a five minute short (also named El Nombre), produced by Ealing Animations. In 2000, an entertainment series was commissioned for CBBC and a second series went out in 2003.

## Setting

El Nombre is set in the fictional town of Santa Flamingo ("deep in the heart of Mexico"), home of Little Juan, Maria Consuela Tequilla Chiquita, Little Pepita Consuela Tequilla Chiquita, Tanto the friendly tarantula spider, El Gelato the ice-cream seller, Leonardo de Sombrero the pizza delivery boy, Senior Calculo the Bank Manager and the local bully Don Fandango. Whenever he is needed, El Nombre swings into action to solve the townspeople's simple mathematical problems, usually talking in rhyme. His character is a parody of the fictional hero Zorro, wearing a similar black cowl mask and wide sombrero, appearing unexpectedly to save the town folk from misjustice and generally swinging around on his bullwhip. However, unlike Zorro, he is often quite inept.

Initially, El Nombre's function was merely to write numbers in the sand to demonstrate the correct way to form a number. This was shot from an angle directly overhead leaving El Nombre almost completely eclipsed by his large sombrero. His appeal was instant and his success prompted rapid development of his role in the series. Since the basic beginning El Nombre has completed 7 educational series (his segment on Number Time) and grown into a 4-5 minute slot, acquiring dramatic storylines, a full cast of characters, and continued to demonstrate mathematical concepts albeit in a dramatic & entertaining way. Episodes have moved away from solving simple mathematical equations to fighting petty crime, unrelated to the number-solving which made his name and for which he was conceived.

As well as being popular with school children, El Nombre has developed a cult following amongst students and parents because of the many references to classic spaghetti Westerns. Indeed, his popularity has grown so much that in March 2004, the El Nombre theme song was released as a single.

El Nombre actually means "The Name" in Spanish, not "The Number" which would be "El Numero".

## Episode Guide

Series One:

• Where's That Spider?
• Free As A Bird
• Sports Day
• All The Fun Of The Fair
• The Great Train Robbery
• The Phantom Tanto
• The Missing Birthday Cake
• The Giant Cactus
• The Great Custard Pie Fight
• When The Balloon Goes Up
• The Great Escape
• The Ghost Of Santa Flamingo
• Match Of The Day

Series Two

• Going For A Song
• Runaway Train
• The Tent
• Stuck At The Top
• The Great Bank Robbery
• The Great Sand Race
• The Lemon Tree
• Beside The Sea
• The Last Dance
• Saved By The Whale
• Up, Up And Away
• A Very Important Visit
• Winter Wonderland