Their co-stars Keira Knightley, Hugh Grant, Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy and Andrew Lincoln and also expected to appear in the Comic Relief special, ‘Red Nose Day Actually’ will revisit the characters “To discover what they’re up to in 2017”.

A spokesman said some original cast members were juggling prior work commitments.

Alan Rickman, who played Thompson’s husband, died last year.

The film will be shown as part of BBC One’s Red Nose Day broadcast on Friday March 24.

“Richard Curtis said:”Over the years I’ve enjoyed doing Red Nose Day specials of TV things I’ve worked on – Blackadder, The Vicar of Dibley and Mr Bean.

It seemed like a fun idea this year to do a special sketch based one of my films, since Red Nose Day is now in both the UK and America.

He added: “We’ve been delighted and grateful that so many of the cast are around and able to take part – and it’ll certainly be a nostalgic moment getting back together and recreating their characters 14 years later. We hope to make something that’ll be fun – very much in the spirit of the original film and of Red Nose Day – and which we hope will help bring lots of viewers and cash to the Red Nose Day shows.”

Alan Rickman