ENTERTAINMENT
02/12/2020 11:41 GMT

Rita Ora Pulls Out Of Jonathan Ross Show Appearance Amid Backlash Over Lockdown Birthday Party

The chart-topping singer came under fire after it emerged she'd marked her birthday with a gathering in London, despite England's coronavirus restrictions.

Rita Ora has pulled out of a scheduled appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show amid backlash over her lockdown birthday party.

Earlier this week, the I Will Never Let You Down singer made headlines after it emerged that she’d celebrated her 30th birthday with a group of friends at a restaurant in London, despite coronavirus restrictions in place in England at the time.

Apologising on Monday, Rita wrote on her Instagram story that she was “deeply sorry for breaking the rules” and called her “spur of the moment decision” to attend the event an “inexcusable error of judgment”.  

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Rita Ora apology

Rita had been due to join fellow Masked Singer judges Davina McCall and Mo Gilligan on Jonathan Ross’ talk show at the weekend, but ITV has now confirmed that she will no longer be on the line-up.

According to The Independent, she has been replaced on the show by The Masked Singer presenter Joel Dommett.

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The judging panel for the first series of The Masked Singer UK

In her apology, Rita had written: “Hello all, I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday. It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK.

“I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk. This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgment.”  

Rita continued: “Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility. I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe.

“Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.”

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Rita Ora on The Jonathan Ross Show last year

A No.10 spokesperson said prime minister Boris Johnson was “clear” that everyone needs to follow the restrictions, “including celebrities”, stressing that “it’s up to police to decide what action to take” if they are broken.

This statement was also given after controversial actor Laurence Fox was condemned on social media, having boasted of having a “large group” over for lunch, where they “hugged, ate and put the world to rights”.

The Masked Singer UK will return for a second series in the new year, with Mo Gilligan taking over from panellist Ken Jeong, who was unable to take part due to international travel restrictions.

The Jonathan Ross Show will air on Saturday 5 December at 9.30pm on ITV.