Simon Cowell on Zayn Malik's One Direction exit: "It came as a shock"

Published Friday, Apr 10 2015, 11:37 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
Simon Cowell has revealed he "knew for a while" that Zayn Malik was considering his future with One Direction.

Two weeks ago, Zayn quit One Direction after five years. His announcement came just a week after pulling out of their world tour after being signed off with stress.

Simon Cowell arrives at The BGT Launch at The Mayfair Hotel - 9 April 2015.


Simon Cowell.

Zayn Malik at the BBC Music Awards 2014 held at Earls Court - Arrivals
London, United Kingdom

© Lia Toby/

Zayn Malik.

"I knew for a while he was thinking about, you know, the future," Simon told BBC Newsbeat. "It did come as a bit of a shock, but I have to look after him and look after the boys."

Music mogul Simon, who formed One Direction as a group after the boys auditioned as soloists on The X Factor in 2010, said no-one should be forced into doing something they don't want to do.

Remaining 1D members - Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles - said they respected Zayn's decision in a statement, but told fans they would continue as a four-piece.

One Direction at the BBC Music Awards: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles. 11/12/14

© Rex Features / David Fisher

Simon said the rest of the boys became "united and strong" after getting over the shock. "They put on some incredible shows afterwards," he added. "The future's bright, I think."

It is thought that Zayn will carve out a career as a solo artist, and it seems like Simon is supportive too, after saying as well as the boys, "Zayn will have a great career as well".

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Zayn Malik leaves One Direction: can they succeed as a four-piece?
YES! Absolutely, they have a long career ahead...46.18%
MAYBE! Let's not write them off yet.27.08%


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