Critics bemoan Rowling's absence in Harry Potter reunion

A TV special reuniting members of the Harry Potter cast has received mixed reviews from critics, with many noting the absence of author JK Rowling.

There has been speculation that the writer was shut out of the programme after her previous comments about trans people divided public opinion.

Rowling does not appear with the cast members in the special, and is only seen in archive video clips.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary - Return To Hogwarts is released on 1 January.

The special sees former child stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint reunite with fellow cast members including Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman and Ralph Fiennes.

However, while some actors such as Coltrane refer to Rowling during their interviews, Rowling herself only appears via video clips recorded in 2019.

The Times described it as "a charming if at times saccharine reunion" which was "missing a key ingredient" in Rowling.

"Where's JK Rowling when we need her most?" asked The Telegraph in its two-star review.

The reason for Rowling's absence has not been officially confirmed by the author, film studio Warner Bros or the broadcaster HBO.