An award-winning entrepreneur who remembers charging £5 for cutting hedges as an 11-year-old in Leytonstone, was invited to meet the cast of Selma at a pre-Oscar party last week.

Laban Roomes, who grew up in Jersey Road, Leytonstone, was invited to present film director Lee Daniels and David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King, with gold-plated iPhones at the 2015 Annual Uptown Pre-Oscar Gala in Los Angeles on Thursday evening (February 12).

His gold-plated goods and customisation business, Goldgenie, was backed by James Caan when he appeared on Dragon’s Den in 2007.

And in 2013, Mr Roomes won a bronze award in the Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year category in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The 45-year-old, who used to attend Norlington School in Leyton, said it was an honour to present Lee Daniels and David Oyelowo with his products, which cost £2,637 each.

He said: “Selma was somehow not nominated for an Oscar, so the organisers thought the next best thing was to invite me to present them a gold-plated iPhone each. 

"It was great because there was a standing ovation as I gave the phones to Lee and David.

“We were actually invited on Tuesday and were on a flight that night to LA.

“Our reputation is growing in America, with P Diddy and Chris Brown using our services, so it was amazing to be there and meet everyone."

Raised by his single mother who still lives at the same house in Jersey Road, Leytonstone, Mr Roomes, who now lives in Enfield, remembers his entrepreneurial youth in east London.

He said: “Back in my childhood I remember the poverty, my mum was only making £50 a week at a local factory and people at school had the latest trainers and clothes but we just couldn’t afford it.

“I think my entrepreneurial attitude to life came from a need to help her out and supplement our income.

“At nine-years-old I was selling biscuits in the playground and by 11 I was cutting hedges for £5 a go, me and a few friends had a real system going and were making up to £60 a day.

“I still go back virtually every weekend to Leytonstone, it is somewhere I will always call home.”