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Zayn Malik quits One Direction - 'I knew this was happening' says X Factor judge Louis Walsh

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Zayn Malik. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Zayn Malik. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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Zayn Malik: Ian West/PA Wire

Zayn Malik: Ian West/PA Wire

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Zayn Malik. Photo: AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLEMarty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

Zayn Malik. Photo: AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLEMarty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

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Zayn Malik is flying back to the UK to recuperate, a spokesman for One Direction said

Zayn Malik is flying back to the UK to recuperate, a spokesman for One Direction said

Zayn Malik of One Direction   (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Zayn Malik of One Direction (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

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File photo from 2010 of Storm Lee (right) and Zayn Mali. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

File photo from 2010 of Storm Lee (right) and Zayn Mali. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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File photo from 2014: Left to right, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles as Malik has left One Direction. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

File photo from 2014: Left to right, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles as Malik has left One Direction. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

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One Direction. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

One Direction. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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Left to right: Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles of One Direction. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Left to right: Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles of One Direction. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

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 Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles attend the world premiere of "One Direction: This Is Us" at the Ziegfeld Theater on August 26, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles attend the world premiere of "One Direction: This Is Us" at the Ziegfeld Theater on August 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

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Zayn Malik. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

X Factor judge Louis Walsh says he is not surprised Zayn Malik has quit as "every band has problems".

Speaking to independent.ie this evening, the former manager of Boyzone, Westlife and Girls Aloud said he "knew this was happening".

"I knew this was happening. I know everything! Every band has problems,"he said.

Louis is the longest-serving judge on X Factor - the Simon Cowell produced series which discovered One Direction in 2010 and set them on the path to global stardom.

Despite Zayn's decision to leave the world's biggest boyand, Louis is convinced they can continue.

"The Spice Girls had it when Geri Halliwell left. Take Take had it when Robbie left. Westlife had it when Brian left. They all still continued.

"And 1Direction will continue now that Zayn Malik has left 1Direction. They will go on. The tour will go on," he said. 

Malik announced his decision to leave the band earlier this evening, saying he wants the chance be "a normal 22-year-old".

The group said they would continue as a four-piece for their world tour and record another album - their fifth - later this year.

Malik said: " My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart.

"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. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."

Malik quit the boyband's world tour last week after being "signed off with stress" and returned to the UK after he was forced to defend himself online and declare his love for fiancee Perrie Edwards when pictures emerged of him apparently close to another woman.

In a statement, the rest of the group said: "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future.

"The past five years have been beyond amazing - we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends.

"The four of us will now continue. We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."

Simon Cowell, who discovered the boyband on talent show The X Factor, said: " I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction.

"Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond - and immensely proud - of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave.

"As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."

Malik appeared in a leaked video last year smoking what appeared to be a joint while the group travelled in a van in South America.

He was also forced to explain his absence from promotional commitments after a US TV host questioned his bandmates about ''rumours of substance abuse''.

The band, who were put together after entering The X Factor as solo acts, have become millionaires on their way to being one of the biggest bands in the world.

Their latest album, Four, topped the US Billboard Top 200 chart making them the first group in history to debut at number one with their first four albums.

They have fans all over the world - their current tour takes in venues in countries including Indonesia and South Africa - and the video for their single, Best Song Ever, attracted almost 200 million views on YouTube.

Online Editors


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