Rita Ora wowed viewers with her performance of Let You Love Me on Australian breakfast TV show Sunrise on Friday – but it was her brief interview afterwards that really raised eyebrows.
Sunrise co-hosts Natalie Barr and Matt Doran joined the English pop star, 30, on stage and delicately raised the subject of Britain’s strict coronavirus lockdown – which the hitmaker infamously flouted twice back in November when she failed to self-isolate after an overseas trip and subsequently threw a birthday party.
While Rita wasn’t asked about her own questionable conduct, Natalie broached the subject by acknowledging how tough Brits were doing it during the Covid-19 pandemic compared to Australians.
Feeling awkward: British pop star Rita Ora wowed Sunrise audiences with a performance on Friday
She said: ‘You guys have done it very tough during Covid. We are happy to have you.’
Rita seemed rather surprised by the question – possibly because she’d been assured there wouldn’t be any discussion of the Covid situation in the UK – and awkwardly nodded before saying: ‘I know, yes.’
‘Thank you very much, I feel like I’m at home. Thank you for all the kind love,’ she added.
Rita also spoke about her upcoming performance at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival, which takes place on Saturday.
Host Natalie Barr (left) said, ‘You guys have done it very tough during COVID, we are happy to have you.’ The pop singer awkwardly acknowledged the UK lockdown, nodding as she said: ‘I know, yes’
She said: ‘It is my first show in a long time… I’m so honoured to be here and perform at Mardi Gras, one of my favourite festivals. I can’t wait to be part of the energy.’
Rita also spoke about her experience Down Under and joining the panel of The Voice Australia, alongside Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy and Keith Urban.
‘It is beautiful to be around people and to be working. I’m very grateful to be working and just to see the sun. Everyone knows the UK is not the sunniest place in the world. I am enjoying the weather,’ she said.
Happy to be here: Rita also spoke about being Down Under and working as a coach on The Voice Australia. She said: ‘It is beautiful to be around people and to be working, very grateful to be working and just to see the sun’
Back in November, Rita was caught flouting lockdown rules twice.
The Mail on Sunday revealed the singer had flown by private jet to Cairo on November 21 to perform at the five-star W Hotel.
She returned the next day and under government quarantine rules should have self-isolated for 14 days.
But instead she threw a birthday party on November 28 at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, West London.
Breaking rules: Back in November, Rita was caught twice flouting lockdown rules. At the time, The Mail On Sunday revealed the singer flew by private jet to Cairo on November 21 to perform at the five-star W Hotel. She then celebrated her 30th birthday with a party in Notting Hill
She later apologised, saying: ‘It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be okay.
‘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 judgement. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility. Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.’
She paid a hefty £10,000 (AU$18,000) fine after being reported to police, who investigated the restaurant, which, to any passers-by, looked to be closed up.
Rita was forced into another grovelling apology for breaching coronavirus rules by not isolating upon her return from Cairo.
‘I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules’: She made a statement of apology and paid the hefty £10k fine for breaching these protocols, having been reported to the police, who investigated the Notting Hill restaurant, which, to any passers-by, looked to be closed up
Rita said: ‘Upon my return to Britain, I should have followed government advice and isolated myself for the required period. As you know, I didn’t follow government advice and I apologise again, unreservedly.
‘While I realise the apologetic words of a pop star might not carry much weight, especially one who has broken the rules like I have, I do realise some might seek to follow my example.’
She added: ‘I hope to one day make it up to the public who have given me so much support over the years and, in particular, make it up to the heroes of the NHS.’
A spokesman for the star, who has an estimated net worth of £10million (AU$18million), said she and her team had all subsequently tested negative for Covid-19.
‘I hope to one day make it up to the public’: Rita was also forced into another grovelling apology for breaching strict coronavirus rules by flying to Cairo and not isolating on return. She said: ‘I didn’t follow Government advice and… I apologise again, unreservedly’