“Michael Wigge is the ultimate budget traveler!”

Los Angeles Times

Michael Wigge

Writer, Humorous Motivational Speaker, German

Award-winning travel show host of German descent Michael Wigge specializes in incredible challenge stories.  ‘How to Travel the World for FREE’, ‘How to Barter for Paradise’ (where he turned an apple into a Hawaiian dream house by just bartering for bigger, better things) and ‘How to Travel 2000 Miles on a Razor Scooter in 80 Days’ are just three of his seven travel shows. He recently shared his amazing success stories on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Katy Perry and also on the Today Show. His TV programs and books have been broadcast and published internationally in several countries.

Based on his incredible challenge experiences, Wigge began performing humorous motivational speaking engagements and started CMW life coaching. His corporate keynotes are ‘LeadershipChallenge for Change’ and ‘Sales & Success. He currently delivers his knowledge on stage to the corporate world,  colleges, and also private clients.

Wigge has been working as a reporter and writer for fifteen years, for both private and public broadcasters. His work is characterized by a mixture of journalism and entertainment. His specialty lies in cultural issues, which he examines in a very entertaining way.

In 2002, Wigge drew attention to himself for the first time as  a TV broadcaster on VIVA and shortly thereafter presented comedy clips on the daily show ‘London Calling’. He even set a record for the longest donkey ride in music television history and visited the Queen of England, dressed as King Henry VIII, on her 50th throne jubilee at Buckingham Palace (she took it in stride, just as a true Brit would do).

In 2003, he returned to Germany and attracted the attention of the political world as satirical reporter ‘Dr. Wigge’ for the political program ‘The Chancellor’s Bungalow’ (WDR) conducting non-conventional interviews with prominent figures like the chancellor and the president. From 2004 to 2006, he was on the road as a reporter for ‘Sarah Kuttner – Die Show’ (VIVA and MTV). Under the heading ‘Wigge on a Mission’ he conducted quirky interviews with Hollywood celebrities.  Hale Berry put Wigge’s eyelash in her décolleté and Angelina Jolie called him a ‘crazy, but fantastic man’.

He also appeared on the ‘ARD Morning Show’ as a special reporter for the Olympic Summer Games and at the European Football Championship in 2004.

Wigge also produced independent films, such as ‘Wigge BIG in Japan’ (VIVA, 2004) and ‘Kulturschock’ (MTV, 2006). For the latter, he lived with the Sanema Indians in the Amazon rainforest. From 2007 to 2010, he produced the self-deprecating culture series ‘Wigge and the Truth about Germany’ and ‘Land of Loveliness’ on Deutsche Welle TV. This series earned Wigge a platinum award in the category ‘On-Air Talent’ at the 41st Houston World Film Festival in 2008 and the series was named one out of six best productions at the New York Film Festival. In 2008, he worked as a reporter for GEO in Canada.

In 2009, Wigge received the ZDF VJ Award in the category ‘Best Newcomer Video Journalist’. In 2010, ‘How to Travel the World for Free’ became the first collaboration with ZDFneo and was also published as a book. The documentary series (5 x 30 min., ZDFneo broadcasted May / June 2010) was awarded with the Accolade Award of Merit for Best Feature Documentation in the U.S. in 2011 and was nominated for the Grimme Award 2011 in the ‘entertainment’ category. The series was renamed ‘How to Travel the World for FREE’ for the international market.

In 2011, Wigge produced the TV series ‘Wigges Tauschrausch’ (How to Barter for Paradise). For this experiment he traveled the world, ultimately bartering an apple into a house in Hawaii. The series was broadcasted as six 45-minute documentaries on ZDFneo and was published as a book.

In 2012, he began speaking as a funny motivational speaker & published the book ‘How to Travel the World for FREE’ worldwide and the series was broadcasted on numerous PBS channels in the U.S. Wigge appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Katy Perry. Later on his story was featured in the LA Times, USA Today and the Today Show.

In 2013, Wigge crossed Germany on a razor scooter – 2500 kilometers in 80 days and published this project as a TV series and a book. In the same year, he traveled through Switzerland for free for 3Sat television.

‘How to Travel the World for FREE’ and ‘How to Barter for Paradise’ were published in the winter of 2013/2014 by Skyhorse Publishing. ‘How to Travel the World for FREE’ ran for the second year on PBS in several US markets. At the end of 2013, Wigge was awarded the silver Columbus Award by the ‘Vereinigung Deutscher Reisejournalisten’ (Association of German Travel Journalists).

In 2014 Wigge received the Houston Award of “Worldfest-Houston” along with the Accolade Award ‘Award of Merit’ in ‘Germany by Scooter’ as an on-camera talent.

In 2016 Wigge published a new book and TV documentaries called “50 States of Wigge”

Curriculum Vitae Michael Wigge

Occupational Background

2016Fifty States of WiggeBook/WDR TV
2014Wigge’s Blind Date SeriesRTL/Stern TV
2014Accolade Award ‘Award of Merit’ in ‘Germany by Scooter’ as ‘on-camera talent’ and in ‘action/adventure’
2014Houston Award of Worldfest-Houston
2013Columbus Award (Silver) of the ‘Vereinigung Deutscher Reisejournalisten’
2013How to Barter for ParadiseSkyhorse Publishing
2013How to cross Germany on a Razor Scooter in 80 DaysDeutsche Welle
2013Switzerland for free3Sat
2012Wigge on Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Katy Perry
2012Broadcast of ‘How to Travel the World for FREE’PBS channels (U.S.)
2012Worldwide book publishing of ‘How to Travel the World for FREE’
2012Winner of Gold Kahuna Award / Honolulu International Film Festival for the feature documentary ‘How to Barter for Paradise’
2012Book publishing of ‘Wigges Tauschrausch’Lübbe Publisher
2012‘How to Barter for Paradise’ TV series 6 x 45 min.ZDFneo
2011Accolade Award, best feature documentary ‘How to Travel the World for Free!’
2011Grimme Preis Nominee, best entertaining TV program ‘How to Travel the World for Free!’
2011Jaipur Film Festival, Nominee ‘best international film’ for the project ‘How to Travel the World for Free!’
2011‘How to Travel the World for Free!’Hawaii State Television
2010‘Land of Loveliness’ – TV production, 30 episodesDeutsche Welle TV
2010‘How to Travel the World for Free’ book published in Germany and South Korea
2010‘How to Travel the World for Free’ TV series 5 x 30 min.
2009VJ Award as NewcomerZDF
2008/9GEO video reporterGEO
2008/9Wigge’s WorldEinslive
2008Finalist New York Film & Television Awards
200841st World fest Houston Platin Award Category ‘On-Air Personality’
2007/8/9Series: ‘Wigge and the Truth about Germany’Deutsche Welle TV
2007/8‘Goldener Prometheus’
Off-air event reporter
2007/8Series: ‘We are sector’Einslive
2007/8‘Blitz’ series: ‘Wigge-Partycracker’Sat1
2007Comedian in commercialsNokia 5700
2006/730 min. documentary, Sanema Indians/Venezuela
2005/6/7Roving reporter ‘Test of Courage’Einslive Radio
2005/6Reporter/Comedian ‘Kuttner’ – Clips with VIPsMTV
2005/6MTV-production: ’30 things you should never do under 30!’MTV
2004‘Wigge BIG in Japan!’
2hr satirical VIVA-Japan special, celebrating the ‘Year of the Germans’
VIVA
2004Comedian/reporter under the headings
‘Wigge investigates’ and ‘Wigge on mission’
VIVA
20041hr ‘Wigge-Special’. The eight best segmentsVIVA
2004Reporter at ‘ARD-Morning Show’ for the Olympic Games and Football World CupARD
2003Satirical reporter for the political program ‘The Chancellor’s Bungalow’ as character ‘Dr. Wigge’. Life conferences/segmentsWDR
2003Reporter ‘Checking Europe’s Metropolises’ for ‘Afterwork TV’RTL 2
2001/2Presenter of the series ‘London Calling’ from LondonVIVA-Plus

Educational Background

1998-2001BA-studies ‘Film and TV Production’Guildhall University, London
2000Camera training and acting courseCity-Lit London