'Too sad and too soon' for Emma Thompson to reprise role without Alan Rickman
Love Actually star Emma Thompson has said it would be "too sad and too soon" after the death of her co-star Alan Rickman for her to take part in the film's Comic Relief sequel.
Thompson and Rickman played husband and wife in the hit romantic comedy, which will be revived by director Richard Curtis for the charity broadcast, but the actress will not be taking part.
Rickman died aged 69 in January 2016 and Thompson 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."
Grant, Keira Knightley, Colin Firth and Rowan Atkinson will all appear in the 10-minute film, which will show what the original characters are doing in 2017, 14 years after the movie was released.
The short film, dubbed Comic Relief Actually, will air during the Red Nose Day broadcast on March 24 on BBC1.