In 1980, at the age of 17, Morrell began importing Space Invaders arcade video games into the UK from Italy, having negotiated an initial purchase of 10 units on a sale or return basis. He discovered an open market and established high demand. Within six months, Morrell was selling two shipping containers a month; within a year the business had a turnover of £1.2 million.
Apparently inspired by classic Ealing comedy The Titfield Thunderbolt, in 1985 Morrell acquired a river boat called The Pride of Bath, which he kept moored on the River Avon in Bath and set up as a nightclub, which he was able to operate without a bar license by exploiting a legal loophole that stipulated that by keeping the engine running the vessel was officially navigating, meaning that no license was required. The club, ‘96 Nights’, was a success and ran for 96 nights.
In 1986, aged 23, Morrell suffered a serious car accident, suffering head injuries that left him in a coma for three days. When he got out of hospital he was advised to take a long period of recuperation. He wound down his business(es) and moved to Castle Cary in South Somerset.