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Blue Peter 'Millennium Time Capsule' Dug Up 33 Years Too Soon

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Blue Peter 'Millennium Time Capsule' Dug Up 33 Years Too Soon

Blue Peter's 'Millennium Time Capsule' has been accidentally dug up by construction workers 33 years earlier than planned.

It was buried under the then Millennium Dome, now the O2 Arena, in 1998 and filled with mementos of the time.

It was not supposed to be unearthed until 2050. However opening it has offered a look back on 90s life and stuff most of us will remember from being kids.

Here's what the Blue Peter intro looked like on the turn of the millennium...

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Credit: BBC

Items included in the capsule included roller blade wheels, an asthma inhaler, Tellytubby dolls, a France 1998 World Cup football, a picture of a dove to symbolise peace in Northern Ireland, a Roald Dahl book, Tamagotchi toys and a photo of Princess Diana.

The items were selected in a Blue Peter competition, with viewers asked to submit ideas for items they would like put inside.

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Hosts Richard Bacon and Katy Hill buried mementos, picked by viewers, 15ft underground, but workers laying cables at the O2 unearthed the container on Tuesday.

According to the Sun, after hitting the capsule with their digging equipment the builders thought they had struck gold.

A source said that "were going at it with anything they could find - hammers, shovels, the lot" and "at one point a bloke in a forklift squished it with the machine's teeth."

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Tamagotchi toys were among the mementos unearthed. Credit: PA Images

A spokesperson for the BBC said: "Although a little earlier than anticipated, we're looking forward to sharing these memories with our viewers and making new ones as we return the capsule to the earth so that it can be reopened in 2050 as originally planned."

The capsule was dumped in a skip before its importance was realised and it was handed to O2 chiefs in Greenwich, East London. It will now be reburied.

A spokesman for the O2 Arena said: "The team at The O2 and our contractors ISG have been searching for the Blue Peter Time Capsule since we started construction work in 2016.

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Tellytubby dolls were also buried under the O2. Credit: PA Images

"We found it yesterday but sadly it was accidently damaged during excavations. The capsule and its contents are safely stored in our office and we've let the team at Blue Peter know.

"We're going to work with them to either repair or replace the capsule and bury it again for the future."

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Unearthing The Past

Past and present Blue Peter presenters pictured in 2000. Credit: PA Images

As well as burying time capsules, it's also Blue Peter presenters' jobs to dig up ones from the show's past.

In 2000, then presenters Katy Hill, Konnie Huq, Simon Thomas and Matt Baker used a Blue Peter map and thermal imaging equipment to find the first capsule buried on the show, before digging it out of the grounds of BBC Television Centre in White City, west London.

The first Blue Peter time capsule was buried on 7 June 1971. It contained objects from the time such as a copy of the 1970 Blue Peter annual, a set of decimal coins - which were introduced in 1971 - and photographs of the three presenters.

Much like they did for the millennium, for the first time capsule the presenters asked Blue Peter viewers what to put in there.

The box had to be moved at one point in its long burial - the original site of the capsule was due to be developed in 1984 so the unopened box was unearthed and moved to another site in the Blue Peter garden.

Urban myths had claimed the BBC had lost the plans which detailed where it was buried.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

James Dawson
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