Early Ventures…

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.