Liam Neeson, Thomas Sangster

Love Actually had been scheduled to show on ITV2 tonight but the channel has decided to pull it from the line up and replace it with The 40 Year Old Virgin. Now, despite the fact that Love Actually is one of my favourite romcoms, I’m relieved by this decision as I had been feeling very uncomfortable about the fact it was showing.

You see, it’s still less than two weeks since the terribly sad death of Natasha Richardson on 18th March and therefore, in my opinion, far too soon to be presenting us with this movie in which her husband Liam Neeson plays a bereaved man attending his wife’s funeral and struggling to find a way to cope with his grief and take responsibility for his stepson.

As soon as I heard the shocking news that Natasha Richardson was in intensive care following a skiing accident, those scenes from Love Actually came to mind and I desperately hoped that they wouldn’t end up playing out for real. Sadly that wasn’t to be.

I suspect the film was originally scheduled because it’s yet another tie-in to Richard Curtis’s new movie The Boat That Rocked, out in cinemas tomorrow. Notting Hill has been shown a few times already, Four Weddings and a Funeral is showing on Film 4 on Thursday. I have to applaud ITV for having the respect to hold off on this one. With recent events almost mirroring the storyline involving Neeson, I think it’s too soon right now. And, to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch this film in quite the same way again.

The 40 Year Old Virgin is now showing on ITV2 tonight in the 10pm slot, and will also show on Saturday night at 21.55pm.