Liam Neeson, who has worked with UNICEF Ireland since 1997, has become the first Irish person to be appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

In a statement, the actor said: "I am deeply honoured to have been asked by UNICEF to become a Goodwill Ambassador and am committed to working with UNICEF to help children overcome poverty, violence, disease and discrimination across the world."

UNICEF's Executive Director Anthony Lake added: "Liam Neeson is not only a passionate dramatic actor, he is a deeply compassionate humanitarian actor.

"UNICEF is very lucky that he is choosing to use his time and talent to support the world’s most vulnerable children, and we thank him for accepting this new role."