Colin Firth has confessed that he has found it hard to shake off the role of Mr Darcy.

Colin, who played the part in the 1995 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, reportedly said it is a ‘part-time burden’.

“It got my name recognised but it also put me in a box,” he told The Times.

“Twelve years on it feels like a school nickname you can’t shake. It occurred to me the other day to change my name to Mr Darcy and be done with it!”

He continued: “The frustration is anything I do not do on a horse looks like a stretch. When I did Fever Pitch, to get into my own jeans to play a guy living in North London where I lived – to play a character from my own background – people considered a stretch.

“Every single film since there’s been a scene where someone goes, ‘Well, you’ve just killed Mr Darcy’. But he is a figure that won’t die. He is wandering somewhere. I can’t control him.”