|Zayn Malik Does A Robbie Williams And Leaves One Direction|
His departure from the band was announced earlier today in a statement released to the press. The pressures of fame - particularly recently - appear to have played a big part in the decision. "I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22 year old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight" he said.
Five years after being brought together by pop svengali Simon Cowell on The X Factor, One Direction have become astronomically famous. Even Cowell himself was shocked at how big the band became post-X Factor. "I haven't seen a worldwide reaction like this to a group of boys for a very long time" he said. "If we'd been talking a few years ago I'd never have said they were going to debut at number one in America."