Boys to Men ... 1D's Niall celebrates four-year rise to world domination

By Laura Larkin

IT's four years ago this week since One Direction were fresh-faced teens at the beginning of their quest to take over the world.

Last night Niall Horan was full of love for his bandmates, taking to Twitter to celebrate the anniversary.

Mullingar native Niall posted some of the first pictures taken of 1D during their X-Factor days.

They have come a long way since then and now they are more like family he said.

"Thank you lads, we've had a great time so far, you are family to me now, not just bandmates! Love you," the One Direction hunk said.

Niall (20) has been linked with a string of stunning beauties since his rise to fame, including Ellie Goulding and Irish model Thalia Heffernan. His bandmates have dubbed him the secret ladies' man of the group.

But yesterday it was all about the 'bromance' with bandmates Liam, Louis, Harry and Zayne.

Being one-fifth of the biggest boyband on the planet hasn't changed the down-to-earth star too much.

He wholeheartedly thanked their legion of loyal 'Directioners' for their "incredible" support over the years.

The five lads tried out separately for X-Factor but Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger had bigger plans for the then-teenagers.

She suggested that they should perform as a group and the rest is music history.

Despite finishing third in the famous competition, One Direction have enjoyed unprecedented success around the world during their short career.

Rumours that Harry Styles was considering going solo have plagued the band recently but the curly-haired heartthrob has insisted he is in it for the long-haul.

"I still want to be touring with One Direction in 
ten years," he told Top Of 
The Pops magazine.

The birthday celebrations came just after the band announced that a movie of their latest sell-out tour Where We Are: The Concert Film will be screened in October.