He was there when One Direction were created. He was there when Little Mix were created. But now, Louis Walsh hints Perrie and Zayn Malik’s relationship could have been the reason he walked

As the news that Zayn Malik has left One Direction is slowly, and painfully, sinking in with fans around the globe, none other than Louis Walsh has spoken out.

And in his typical, doesn’t-think-before-he-talks way, he’s stired the pot.

Speaking to Irish radio station RTE Radio One, Louis hinted that Zayn‘s turbulent relationship with Perrie could be behind his decision to walk away from pop stardom.

Speaking about his past experience with boybands he said: ‘What I found in the past is as things get on, and as they get girlfriends, the girlfriends are whispering things in their ears and saying like “You should be a solo star”, “You should be the lead singer” – that’s usually the problem.’

The 62-year-old, who has previously managed Boyzone and Westlife, added: ‘The first few years are usually great and then people always want to be the solo star.’

But Louis didn’t point the finger solely at girlfriends, he also had sympathies for Zayn and the band and their heavy workload.

He said: ‘The problem with these guys is they’ve been in a bubble for the last five years, pressure, working, a lot harder than people think, so something had to give. So Zayn was the first person just to crack up a little bit.

‘He’s had an amazing time with the other guys. That’s the good side of it. The dark side of it is all the travelling, the airports, in a bubble, not really seeing real life.’

The band are currently in the middle of another gruelling tour – On The Road Again – which is their third in as many years.

‘They burn out basically,’ Louis added. ‘The thing with One Direction is they were massive worldwide. They were going from continent to continent, right across America. Going from hotels to hotels, he probably didn’t see light of day, he was just working, working, working.

‘Now it’s everybody’s dream, everybody loves it but there’s an awful lot of pressure with it too.’

We’re not sure how Zayn is going to find life without the fame, especially dating someone who is still in the spotlight, but let’s hope he’s happy.

Lydia Southern