With only a few days until the one-year anniversary of Alan Rickman's death and the recent talk of a Love Actually Comic Relief special, fans of the original were understandably keen to know whether writer-director Richard Curtis would pay tribute to the late actor in the upcoming sketch. Now, Curtis has revealed that the 10-minute short won't be referencing Rickman due to the number of characters they have to cover in such a brief time.

Love Actually
Late actor Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson won't feature in Love Actually Red Nose Day special, reveals writer-director Richard Curtis Universal Pictures / YouTube

"You know dealing with Alan is very complicated, so not really," the filmmaker told the Press Association when asked whether Rickman's character would feature in some way. "We're not doing everyone. We're doing about two thirds of people."

Richard Curtis
Writer-director Richard Curtis co-founded Comic Relief with comedian Lenny Henry Carlos Alvarez / Getty

Similarly, having previously hinted to the BBC that Emma Thompson might have still signed on to feature in the special, Curtis also went on to confirm: "Ems isn't in it. She just can't do it." While fans are sure to be disappointed that she won't be appearing, it's unsurprising given that the promotional tour of her upcoming film Beauty And The Beast has just begun and she's likely scheduled to be involved in some capacity.

Released in 2003, Love Actually follows the lives of several different couples, as they deal with their respective love lives around Christmas time. Rickman and Thompson played married couple Harry and Karen and arguably made for one the movie's most compelling stories. Despite seeming like a happy family on the surface, Harry becomes loosely entangled with his new, forthright secretary at work.

Thompson's absence aside, the special – appropriately dubbed Red Nose Day Actually – will still be a star-studded affair. Once again written and directed by Curtis, it is set to reunite Martine McCutcheon, Lucia Moniz, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy and Rowan Atkinson on-screen. Recent Bafta nominee Hugh Grant will also be popping up to reprise his role as Prime Minister David.

The special will air as part of Comic Relief's Red Nose Day Special on BBC One on Friday 24 March.

For more entertainment news follow A-List on Twitter @Alistinsider