From DJ equipment to bouncy castles and fun inflatables

Ipswich entrepreneur Shaun Riches, whose entertainment hire business received a call from television

Ipswich entrepreneur Shaun Riches, whose entertainment hire business received a call from television, for a set for Britain's Got More Talent - Credit: Archant

Ipswich-based entertainment hire businessman Shaun gets a call from Britain’s Got More Talent

Ipswich-based young entrepreneur Shaun Riches took a call from TV’s Britain’s Got More Talent the other day.

The television company asked him to supply a set for the show, marking a milestone for his entertainment hire business.

Twenty three year-old Shaun Riches provided the DJ equipment and flame lighting, seen throughout the show which was hosted by Stephen Mulhern.

Mr Riches, from east Ipswich, started his business as a mobile DJ when he was just 16, and still at school, and he was taken to and from gigs by his mum.

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Within two years he had expanded into bouncy castles and also hit on the idea of a life-size Easter Bunny to deliver Easter eggs to children around Ipswich.

He said: “When I started DJ’ing seven years ago, I’d never have imagined things developing and growing as they have.

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“But getting the call from Britain’s Got Talent an meeting Stephen Mulhern and being part of the show for the day was the icing on the cake so far.”

He now has 30 inflatables in his hire fleet plus giant dominoes, gian Jenga, a rodeo bull, an 35ft assault course, a popcorn machine and a candy floss cart, and with more to come.

After studying for GCSEs at Holbrook Academy he did a year studying media studies at Suffolk New College, before deciding to launch himself into business full-time.

He said: “It is dependent on the weather, though bouncy calls can be used indoors in village halls and other places. I prefer for them to be outside, on the grass at events.

“Initially I couldn’t afford the insurance an a van. It is very expensive if you are under 25 years. It is very difficult getting a bouncy castle into a car!

“Then I got a Land Rover, which was a bit better. Now we have two vans.”

He said DJ’ing had taken him all over East Anglia, adding: “Now with the castles and other inflatables, it is mainly in Suffolk and Essex, down to the M25. I have taken a castle to a country fair in Kent before. If somebody gets let down, we will always try to help them out.

“They are very popular for parties.

“There are adult bouncy castles which are popular for birthday parties and weddings.

“We are trying to develop the inflatable side of the business now.

“I like the bungee run, and we have the 35ft assault course which is also very tiring.”

“I seem to buy a new bouncy castle every month.”

They come with a variety of themes, he said, from pirates to princesses.

“Whatever people want, really. And I have got some new ideas for products to add to the list.”

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