The cast of Dallas have promised that the spirit of JR Ewing will live on in the show, despite actor Larry Hagman’s death late last year.

The 81-year-old actor, who succumbed to cancer last November, had already filmed several episodes for the next series, an co-star Patrick Duffy said he was still very much a part of the reboot, which returns to Channel Five on January 29.

“Larry being gone doesn’t eliminate the influence of the character of JR,” Patrick said. “We can find business deals he did or schemes he started that now are coming home to roost, and they can turn up for years to come.”

Linda Gray – who plays JR’s wife Sue Ellen, added:”Whatever will happen on the show, we will be talking about JR Ewing and he will have done things that have a ripple effect. He will always be there.”

JR’s exit was written into the show following Larry’s death – with Linda adding that it would give viewers “closure” to be able to say goodbye to the character.

“They want to mourn Larry Hagman and JR Ewing. They want to know they can grieve the fact he won’t be around,” she admitted – adding that the cast were also still in mourning.

“I’m lonely because my best friend isn’t there to play with,” Patrick said. “I was with him from 1978 until his final hours in the hospital. But I have no regrets. Every day I think of him and smile.”

Linda added: “I keep expecting him to walk in the door. He’s so missed. But his presence is everywhere.”