Rebecca Front and Anna Maxwell Martin say they’re scared about taking on well-known Jane Austen characters in new period drama Death Comes To Pemberley.

The Thick of It star Rebecca is playing Mrs Bennet, while Anna (pictured) will star as Elizabeth Darcy, nee Bennet, in the drama based on PD James’ crime spin-off of Austen’s classic novel Pride And Prejudice.

Rebecca admitted: “It’s a bit scary actually. I’m just trying to not think about all the other brilliant women who’ve played her and just find my own way into the character. But it’s really good fun. It’s such a treat to do.

“I’m really looking forward to it, I hope it won’t be a horrible let down when I do her.”

Alison Steadman played Mrs Bennet in the hit BBC adaptation of Pride And Prejudice in 1995, while Brenda Blethyn played her in Joe Wright’s 2005 film. Jennifer Ehle was Elizabeth Bennet in the 1990s series, and Keira Knightley was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Elizabeth in the 2005 film.

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

But she added Matthew was a ‘dream’ as heartthrob Mr Darcy.