The stars of Pride and Prejudice spin-off Death Comes To Pemberley have admitted they are nervous about taking on such well known characters in the show.

Anna Maxwell Martin and Rebecca Front will play Mrs Bennet and Elizabeth Darcy (nee Bennet) in the BBC drama, which is based on an Austen spin-off by crime writer PD James.

And while they revealed they were looking forward to the roles, they confessed that playing them was daunting.

“It’s a bit scary actually,” Rebecca said. “I’m just trying to not think about all the other brilliant women who’ve played her and find my way into the character.

“But it’s really good fun. It’s such a treat to do. I hope it won’t be a horrible let down when I do her.”

Meanwhile Anna confessed that she felt the “pressure” of following in the footsteps of Jennifer Ehle and Keira Knightley, both of whom have played Elizabeth in recent years.

Jennifer played the role in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of the original novel – which turned Colin Firth into a household name – while Keira won an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the character in 2005.

However Anna pointed out that she hoped she could still do justice to the character given that the action had moved on from the original novel.

“The only kind of respite is that she is Elizabeth Darcy now, so it is seven years on,” the actress said. “But Matthew Rhys who plays Darcy and myself are both a bit ‘Ahh! we’ve been miscast.’ It’s quite scary.”