It was announced earlier this week (beg13Feb17) that a host of cast members from the 2003 film, including Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson and Martine MCCutcheon, would be reprising their roles for a new short film for Britain's Comic Relief charity.

Fans were left disappointed by Emma's absence from the cast list, but now Richard has hinted the 57-year-old actress could still have a part in the much anticipated follow-up.

"Oddly, we're not quite sure (if she'll be in it)," Richard said during an interview with BBC Two's Victoria Derbyshire. "It's all been done in a great rush and I think not but I'm now thinking again."

Emma's character in the original film was involved in one of the most emotional story lines, when she discovered her husband Harry, played by the late Alan Rickman, was potentially embarking on an affair.

Whether or not Emma does make a return, the film promises to be one of the most exciting parts of Comic Relief when it airs on British TV on 24 March (17) as part of the BBC's Red Nose Day telethon, staged biannually to raise funds for the charity.

Richard added he was stunned by the amount of cast members who were quick to say yes to reprising their roles for the cause, explaining: "Amazingly, nobody said no. Liam (Neeson) flew over yesterday from America and is going back to America tomorrow. There is a lot of affection for the film."

The mini-sequel is expected to last around 10 minutes, with Richard previously admitting he is keen to explore where the characters have ended up and how they have aged.

"I would never have dreamt of writing a sequel to Love Actually, but I thought it might be fun to do 10 minutes to see what everyone is now up to," he said. "Who has aged best? I guess that's the big question... or is it so obviously Liam?"

Shots of the cast filming earlier this week showed Liam and his on-screen son, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, returning to the bench in London where they underwent a deep conversation about love in the original movie.