A North Devon entrepreneur and inventor of ‘surfplugs’ met one of the stars of Dragon’s Den.

A NORTH Devon business was part of a lucky group invited to grill Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis on his social media business skills.

Rob Shaddick, a former NHS audiologist who invented ‘Surfplugs’, was one of six businesses ‘retweeted’ on social networking site Twitter in November by the television star and chairman of Ryman Stationery.

Mr Shaddick, of Bideford, took part in Small Business Sunday, using the hashtag #SBS, which Theo created to invite small businesses to describe their business in one tweet.

The Dragon’s favourite six were then re-tweeted to his quarter-of-a-million followers, and all of the previous winners were invited to a gathering in Birmingham.

Mr Shaddick said: “The event, sponsored by Ryman Stationery, provided a huge further boost to small business with the launch of a new dedicated Theo Paphitis SBS website designed to assist all previous SBS winners.

“There was also a Ryman £50 account donation for each winner and further freebies and presentation from Ryman chief executive officer Kypros Kyprianou.

“Even though the day was attended by many of the 400 previous SBS winners and guests, Theo spent the time and ensured that every business received a personally signed Small Business Sunday winner’s certificate and a professional photo with him.”

Surfplugs are custom-made ear-plugs for the prevention of a medical condition called Exostosis, more commonly known as surfer’s ear.