| 11.2°C Dublin

Tearful Rita accepts ambassador role

Singer Rita Ora fought back tears yesterday as she was named an honorary ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo.

The 24-year-old, who was born in the capital of Pristina before her family moved to London when she was one, took time out from her X Factor schedule to receive the title from the country's president Atifete Jahjaga (right), who described her as "Kosovo's most successful artist".

Ora - who has joined the judging panel of ITV's singing show alongside Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nick Grimshaw - looked visibly moved as she took to the podium at the Kosovan embassy in London, saying: "This is amazing. Thank you madam president for this honour. I am so emotional. This is so incredible for me."

The Poison singer, who was formerly a coach on BBC's The Voice UK, continued: "I will wear this title of honorary ambassador with great pride and responsibility.

"I didn't come into this world with any expectations. I didn't expect to be a role model, least of all being ambassador, but I'm not going to say no. This is beyond what I thought was going to happen.

"My parents brought us (my elder sister and younger brother) to this country with the hope and the dream that we could get a decent education, which is so important for our hopes and values and for what we want to achieve in our lives.

"I grew up in Britain, a country that has given me so much for which I am grateful, but I will always have a special place in my heart for my home town and Kosovo."

Ora, who wore a navy blue dress and black heels for the occasion, was joined by her parents Vera and Besnik Sahatciu, along with former British prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, who attended as special guests, and honorary ambassador Lirim Greicevci, as she received the accolade for raising the awareness of the country.