Earlier today, news broke that One Direction are planning to take a break as of March 2016. Reports the boyband are set to split to focus on their own individual projects comes just five months after Zayn surprised fans by quitting 1D.
Many have been quick to speculate about the future of One Direction following his exit, but it has now been suggested the boys' decision to take a break had been planned before Zayn's departure.
Speaking about One Direction's upcoming hiatus on ITV's Lorraine, showbiz reporter Dan Wootton has said he "doesn't think" the boyband's split is to do with Zayn leaving earlier this year.
"I think this was the plan for some time," he said. "Come March the four lads from One Direction will go their separate ways and be allowed really for the first time in five years to look at solo careers."
Zayn originally left One Direction in March earlier this year, insisting he wanted the chance to be a normal 22-year-old again. At the time he told fans he has to do "what's right in his heart" and move on.
He has since revealed the real reason for his exit was to launch his own solo career and Zayn has told fans he is already working on his own material.
Following Zayn's decision to quit the band, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan chose to continue as a four piece, completing their On The Road Again world tour and recently releasing their first single without their former bandmate, 'Drag Me Down'.
Recently, though, Liam did hint he and the rest of the 1D boys were in need of some time out. During a radio interview, he admitted: "You know, I think everyone needs a little bit of a break now, and a sit down and a stop, to kind of take in all the great things that have happened."
According to the latest reports, the boys are set to do just that and it has been hinted their split is just temporary. Dan reiterated this on Lorraine, telling stand-in host Gaby Roslin: "What they have decided on at the moment is for it to be officially a one year hiatus."
While Liam has already began songwriting for other artists, Dan added Harry has been tipped for Hollywood and we could see Louis (who is set to become a dad) appear on The X Factor in the future.
"Harry Styles is really being courted hard at the moment by a lot of top producers and agents in Hollywood, who are really keen for him to launch an acting career. There's also a big demand for him from Sony, of course, to be the big solo star.
"Louis Tomlinson [is] very likely to be part of The X Factor next year in some form of role... potentially some sort of judge role."
One Direction's split will come after the boys release their fifth studio album in time for Christmas. While they will continue to promote the album early into next year, they won't be touring with their new material and will instead go their separate ways come spring next year.
1D first shot to fame on The X Factor back in 2010 and have since gone on to become a global success.
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