As reported earlier this week, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson’s story arc will not be included in the Love Actually sequel that has been organised as part of Comic Relief and Red Nose Day.

The ten-minute short will see most of the cast return to their roles in the Christmas rom com, including Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth and Rowan Atkinson, among others.

Writer-director Richard Curtis said that "dealing with Alan is very complicated", and now Emma Thompson, who played Alan Rickman’s character’s wife in the 2003 film, and also starred alongside the actor in Sense and Sensibility, The Song of Lunch, Judas Kiss, and the Harry Potter films, has spoken about the decision.

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

"It's too soon," she added. "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."