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His work is characterized by a mixture of journalism and entertainment. His specialties are cultural issues which he examines in a very entertaining way.
In 2002, Wigge drew attention to himself in Germany for the first time on TV broadcaster VIVA plus presenting comedy clips on the daily show “London Calling”. In this context he sets a record for the longest donkey ride in music television history and visits the Queen of England, dressed as King Henry VIII, on her 50th throne jubilee at Buckingham Palace (she takes it serenely British).
In 2003, he returns to Germany and attracts the attention of the political world as satirical reporter “Dr. Wigge” for the political program “The Chancellor’s Bungalow” (WDR) doing interviews with the chancellor and the president. From 2004 to 2006, he is on the road as a reporter for “Sarah Kuttner – Die Show” (VIVA and MTV). Under the heading “Wigge on a Mission” he conducts interviews with Hollywood celebrities using insane quirks and confusing statements. Ben Stiller wants to cancel the interview, Hale Berry puts Wigge’s eyelash in her décolleté and Angelina Jolie calls him a “crazy but fantastic man”. Furthermore, he appeares on the “ARD Morning Show” as a special reporter for the Olympics Summer Games and the European Football Championship 2004.
Wigge also produces independent formats, such as “Wigge BIG in Japan” (VIVA, 2004) and “Kulturschock” (MTV, 2006). For the latter he lives with the Sanema Indians in the Amazon rain forest. From 2007 to 2010, he produces the self-deprecating culture series “Wigge and the Truth about Germany” and “Land of Loveliness” on Deutsche Welle TV. For this he is awarded platinum in the category “On-Air Talent” at the 41st Houston World Film Festival in 2008 and the series is one out of six best productions at the New York Film Festival. In 2008, he works as a reporter for GEO in Canada.
In 2009, Wigge receives the ZDF VJ Award in the category “Best Newcomer Video Journalist”. In 2010, “How to Travel the World for Free” is the first collaboration with ZDFneo and is also published as a book in Germany. The documentary series (5 x 30 min., ZDFneo broadcast May / June 2010) was awarded 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 category “entertainment”, Germany most relevant journalist award. The series is 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 self-experiment he travels the world bartering from an apple to a house in Hawaii. This entertainment series has been broadcast as 6 x 45 min. documentary on ZDFneo and is published as a book.
In 2012, he published the book “How to Travel the World for FREE” worldwide and the series is broadcast on numerous PBS channels in the US. During the press campaign, Wigge appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Katy Perry, later on he appeared in the LA Times, USA Today and on the Today Show.
In 2013, Wigge crossed Germany on a [Mibo Mastr scooter – 2500 kilometers in 80 days and published this project as a TV series and a book in Germany. In the same year he travelled Switzerland for free for 3Sat television.
“How to Travel the World for free” and “How to Barter for Paradise” are published in winter 2013/2014 by Skyhorse Publishing in the US. “How to Travel the World for Free” runs the second year on PBS in several US markets.
Wigge has lived in Hawaii since 2013.
Some have criticized Wigge for downplaying the production elements that go into his traveling, such as plane tickets and back-up financing, that delegitimize claims of "low-budget" travel.
- Michael Wigge is the ultimate budget traveler - Los Angeles Times
- Travel 25,000 Miles Without a Penny: Michael Wigge Did It, Here's How [VIDEO]
- Traveling the World for Free With Michael Wigge | Adventure Travel Guide | OutsideOnline.com
- Michael Wigge, TV Reporter and Author | guest list | DW.DE | 18.10.2013