Writer, Humorist, Motivational Speaker
Award-winning German TV personality 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 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 ‘Challenge for Change – Leadership Success’ and ‘Challenge for Change – Sales Success‘. He currently delivers his knowledge on stage throughout the corporate world, on colleges campuses, and for private clients.
Wigge has been working as a reporter and writer for fifteen years, for both private and public broadcasters. A mixture of journalism and entertainment characterizes his work, 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 such as 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 for 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 humorous, motivational speaker and 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 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 Association of German Travel Journalists.
In 2014 Wigge received the Houston Award at “Worldfest-Houston” along with the Accolade Award ‘Award of Merit’ for ‘Germany by Scooter’ as an on-camera talent.
In 2016 Wigge published a new book and TV documentaries called “50 States of Wigge”