Emma Thompson says it would be "too sad" to take part in the 'Love Actually' mini-sequel without Alan Rickman.

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson

Alan and Emma played husband and wife in the original 2003 movie but Emma admitted that she and director Richard Curtis decided she couldn't feature in the update without Alan, who died in 2016 after battling cancer.

She said: "Richard wrote to me and said, 'Darling, we can't write anything for you because of Alan,' and I said, 'No of course, it would be sad, too sad.'

"It's too soon. It's absolutely right because it's supposed to be for Comic Relief but there isn't much comic relief in the loss of our dear friend really only just over a year ago. We thought and thought but it just seemed wrong but to revisit the wonderful fun characters of Bill Nighy and Hugh Grant and Liam (Neeson) and all of that, that's fantastic but obviously what would he have done? Both of them would be in therapy by now and I would be working on some kind of ward. It was absolutely the right decision."

Richard previous revealed that Emma would not take part and he didn't plan to reference Alan in the short movie, which is being filmed for Comic Relief.

He said: "Ems isn't in it. She just can't do it."

When asked if Alan's character would be mentioned, he said: "You know dealing with Alan is very complicated, so not really. We're not [involving] everyone. We're doing about two thirds of people."

Original stars Keira Knightley, Colin Firth, Rowan Atkinson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Olivia Olson are all expected to take part in the movie, which will air on BBC1 on March 24.