One Direction: Niall Horan ‘struggled’ with feeling ‘like a prisoner’ in the band
Niall Horan reflects on time in One Direction with Dermot O’Leary
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Former One Direction star Niall recently had a candid chat with ITV presenter Dermot O’Leary about his time in the band at the height of their fame. After coming third in the 2010 series of X Factor, 1D signed a record deal with Simon Cowell’s label, Syco, and released their debut single, What Makes You Beautiful. The release of this single is when their fame really skyrocketed, Niall said.
Niall told Dermot on the People, Just People podcast: “In the UK it was nuts. We’d go and do signings here and there and bits and pieces and that was crazy.
“That was the first kind of side of it, you know, banging on car windows. Around the release of What Makes You Beautiful is when it really kicked off.
“We did a HMV run around the country, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, to do the signings and that was the first time I saw the madness.”
Dermot then asked the 27-year-old if he ever felt like a “prisoner” during his time in the band. He responded: “A couple of times, yeah.”
Niall continued: “We were 17, 18, 19 for the first few years, and I struggled with it.
“As you know, I have to be doing something all the time and the thought of just closing the curtain in my hotel room was just madness to me.
“I really struggled with the idea. ‘Why won’t you just let us out? We just want to go for a walk!’ But you can’t get inside the brain of a fan.”
He added, “Now I completely get it, but at the time we were like: ‘You’re our age, will you just let us out so we can walk down the street! You must understand!'”
Despite feeling like he couldn’t go outside at the time, Niall told of a story that proved why the band couldn’t leave their hotels.
He recalled: “We came into Lema [California] at like 1am and we saw a shopping centre. And me, Louis [Tomlinson] and Liam [Payne] were like: ‘Come on, we’ll get up in the morning and have a little stroll around there.’
“In the morning Liam came in and said: ‘Come on, let’s go!’ Louis still had his curtains closed, and Louis just goes: ‘Just have a look out that window.’
“[Liam] opened the curtains, and – the police had done a headcount – there were 10,000 people in the street. We were like that’s not happening!”
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Niall spoke fondly of his time in the boyband, who achieved five platinum albums and sold more than 36 million records worldwide in their relatively short five-year career.
The band split up in 2015, nine months after Zayn Malik quit the band due to “stress” and wanting to live a “normal” life.
However, in the past month the odds on the band reuniting in 2021 have been slashed dramatically.
The latest odds from Coral suggest the reunion will likely happen within the next nine months, as they currently sit at 1/6.
Coral’s John Hill commented: “This is the shortest price we have been for 1D to reunite since the boys announced their hiatus.
“It has been a long five years for 1D fans but 2021 could now be the year they see the guys on stage together again.”
However, it isn’t all good news as Zayn is likely not going to be a part of the supposed reunion with just 6/4 odds on joining Harry Styles, Liam, Louis and Niall.
John Hill added: “Although a reunion is great news for 1D fans, our betting does suggest it is likely to be without Zayn Malik. We make it odds-on that the new Dad does not join his former group mates.”
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