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Blue Peter time capsule accidentally dug up 33 years early and smashed to bits

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Emily Badiozzaman
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Back in 1998, in anticipation of the turn of the century and before we all thought Y2K was going to undo all our technological progress, Blue Peter presenters Richard Bacon and Katy Hill buried a time capsule under the Millennium Dome (what the O2 Arena was called back then) as it was being constructed.

The show had collected the following and put them 15ft below the surface to be uncovered in 2050:

  • Stamps
  • France '98 World Cup football 
  • Roald Dahl book
  • Photo of a dove of peace
  • Rollerblade wheel
  • Photos of Alton Towers
  • Letter written by a grandfather 
  • Insulin pen
  • Video of country walks
  • Toy car
  • Asthma inhaler
  • Cub Scout's scarf and woggle
  • Set of British coins 
  • Telly Tubby 
  • Tamagotchi
  • Photo of Princess Diana
  • Spice Girls CD
  • Blue Peter Badge 

But on Tuesday, a team of builders were laying cables on the site and found the capsule. Thinking they’d hit the jackpot, they threw everything they had at it to try and open it before realising what it was. And when we say open, we mean completely destroy it in the hopes of more valuable treasures than a Blue Peter badge. 

Katy Hill and Richard Bacon bury the time capsule in 1998

A source told The Sun: 

“Nobody realised it was the Blue Peter capsule. The boys thought they'd struck gold. They were going at it with anything they could find — hammers, shovels, the lot.

“At one point a bloke in a forklift squished it with the machine’s teeth.”

Alas, they were disappointed to find the remnants of a 90s’ child’s interests and none of Richard Bacon’s cocaine. The team handed it over to the O2 bosses who are going to bury it again for the next 33 years, meanwhile 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.

"We are looking forward to sharing these memories with viewers and making new ones as we rebury the capsule until 2050.”

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Emily Badiozzaman

Emily is a freelance writer for Shortlist.com. She covers breaking news, entertainment, style and lifestyle for the site. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found eating and drinking or thinking about food and drinking. Follow Emily on Twitter: @ebadiozzaman 

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