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 2003 romantic comedy, which will be revived by director Richard Curtis for the charity broadcast in March, but the actress will not be taking part.

The 57-year-star says she agrees with Curtis' decision not to recast her in the 10-minute film following Rickman's death from cancer last year.

"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," Thompson told PA.

Thompson and Rickman played husband and wife

Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley and Bill Nighy are among the stars reprising their much-loved roles for the upcoming short film which will catch up with the characters 14 years on from the original film.

Colin Firth, Rowan Atkinson, Martine McCutcheon, and Marcus Brigstocke will also be reviving their characters for the follow-up to the classic festive family film.

Emma Freud, director of Red Nose Day, recently shared some behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter of Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster who played father and step son Daniel and Sam.

Thompson previously paid a heartbreaking tribute to her close friend Rickman, after the actor's death last year at the age of 69.

In a statement, the actress said that she had just seen Rickman before he passed away, and that his death is "painful" for her.

"Alan was my friend and so this is hard to write because I have just kissed him goodbye.

"What I remember most in this moment of painful leave-taking is his humour, intelligence, wisdom and kindness. His capacity to fell you with a look or lift you with a word.

"The intransigence which made him the great artist he was - his ineffable and cynical wit, the clarity with which he saw most things, including me, and the fact that he never spared me the view. I learned a lot from him.

"He was the finest of actors and directors. I couldn't wait to see what he was going to do with his face next. I consider myself hugely privileged to have worked with him so many times and to have been directed by him."

 "He was the ultimate ally. In life, art and politics. I trusted him absolutely.

"He was, above all things, a rare and unique human being and we shall not see his like again," she added.