Carving out a showbiz career, with pumpkins for Strictly and the West End

David Turner’s carving business only has a seasonal appeal but is already proving a success.

The graduate, who has launched a pumpkin carving business, has secured contracts with a West End musical and TV’s Strictly Come Dancing.

Pump’kd, which runs from York St John University’s Phoenix Centre, will carve and paint 50 pumpkins for the multi-award-winning musical Wicked, which will decorate the Hallowe’en performances of the show at the Apollo Victoria theatre, in London.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The firm has also been commissioned to create original pumpkin carvings for the Strictly Come Dancing’s judges which will appear on next weekend’s Hallowe’en special.

Mr Turner, who established Pump’kd, said: “This small pumpkin seed of a business that I did as a hobby has grown in the last couple of weeks to where I have sourced over 200 pumpkins and will be taking on students as staff to help prepare the orders.”

Mr Turner graduated in design from York St John University and set up Scruffy Dog Design in 2011, which was rebranded as Turner and Sons this year.

He runs both businesses from the university’s Phoenix Centre, which provides affordable space for creative businesses.

Darrell Hooper, Phoenix business and innovation manager at York St John University, said: “These orders build on David’s success last year which included commissions from Thorpe Park and which also saw him appear on BBC’s The One Show.

“He plans to carve the pumpkins on campus and then transport them himself to the various destinations.

“Students and staff at the university will also be able to buy any remaining pumpkins, large and small, along with original Pump’kd stencils as part of a Hallowe’en pumpkin parade.”

The pumpkin carving businesses has also received orders to carve and paint pumpkins from a number of other companies.