Liam Payne hints at One Direction reunion, suggests Zayn Malik won’t take part

(L-R) Zayn Malik and Liam Payne, both formerly of One Direction. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic and Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage / Getty Images Archive

UPDATE: April 20, 12:10 p.m. — During an Instagram Live stream on Monday afternoon, Niall Horan invited Liam Payne for a quick chat.

Though neither of the two former One Direction band members made mention of the band’s rumoured reunion, many excited fans took it as a hint suggesting that an announcement could be imminent.


Liam Payne has once again dropped hints that One Direction, the much-beloved British boy band, will reunite this year to celebrate its 10th anniversary, however, this time around, he’s suggested that former bandmate Zayn Malik might not be included.

During an Instagram Live video chat with Alesso, the Swedish DJ, on Sunday, Payne, 26, admitted that he had been video chatting with his former bandmate Niall Horan in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, before revealing “most of” the group was in London.

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“We’ve been trying to arrange the first group FaceTime,” said Payne of the band, before mentioning Malik — who left One Direction in 2015. “You can come and fill in for Zayn. Join the band,” he joked, suggesting Alesso, 28, should take his place.

Ten months after leaving One Direction, Malik, 27, claimed that he “never really wanted to be in the band” during an interview with Zane Lowe in 2016 — the same month that the band announced its “indefinite hiatus.”

He said: “I just gave it a go because it was there at the time. When I realized the direction we were going in — mind the pun — I instantly realized it wasn’t for me.”

Though nothing official has been announced in regard to One Direction’s comeback, Payne has spoken about the possibility of one numerous times within the last year.

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While talking Sunday with Alesso, Payne even revealed that he was “told off” by former bandmate Louis Tomlinson for talking about their “plans,” backing up rumours that something might come of the band in the near future.

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“I can’t say too much,” Payne said. “It was actually Louis who told me off for revealing a bit about our plans the other day. So I had a group telling off on the group chat,” he added with a laugh.

“The whole world is about to explode,” replied Alesso with a smile.

He and Payne performed their new single, Midnight, together on The Late Late Show with James Corden last week.

When asked by the host about the upcoming 10th anniversary of One Direction. Liam said, “I’m not allowed to say too much obviously, because I’d be giving it away. But we’ve been speaking a lot more at the moment.”

“I think that we’re all feeling that the 10th year is a very special moment,” he added.

Other members, namely Tomlinson, 28, and Horan, 26, have expressed their interest in reuniting, too.

One Direction, from left, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan pose backstage after winning the awards for Best New Artist and Best Pop Video for the track, ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ at the MTV Video Music Awards, in Los Angeles, Calif. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

The rumours first began circulation back in January when the One Direction website was updated.

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Furthermore, some eagle-eyed fans noticed that all four members, including Harry Styles, had followed not only Malik’s Twitter account, but the official One Direction account too. Malik, on the other hand, has not yet returned the gesture.

As of this writing, there has been no confirmation of any One Direction reunion.

Malik has not yet addressed the rumours.

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