From the outside looking in, being catapaulted into a life of fame and fortune at the age of 14 might look like a dream come true. But, for Liam Payne - being thrust into the spotlight when One Direction were formed - was like "having a weird midlife crisis".
The 26-year-old has spoken candidly about his mental health struggles as part of Sky’s Straight Talking series and even confessed to having suicidal thoughts at the height of his career.
“For some certain circumstances I’m quite lucky to be here still,” he said. “There are times when that level of loneliness and people getting into you every day, it’s like, ‘When will this end?’ That’s almost nearly killed me a couple of times.”
When pushed by SAS: Who Dares Wins star, Ant Middleton, on whether he’s ever considered acting on those thoughts, he said, “Yeah, when I’ve been in a bad place. It’s 100%, you know. There’s no point denying it – it’s definitely been on the menu a couple of times in my life.”
Since One Direction announced their hiatus in 2015, Liam has embarked on a new chapter in his life – launching a solo career and becoming a father to his first child, Bear, with ex-girlfriend Cheryl.
And while parenthood has been a joy, Liam – who was just 23 when Bear was born – said it hasn’t always been plain sailing.
“Becoming a dad at such a young age, it’s such a difficult thing. And I think I built fatherhood up so much in my head that it kind of messed me up to start with. I started in a bad place with it,” he revealed.
“I think it spooked me out early on, and I was just worried I would not be enough to look after the both of them. They’re so important to me — Cheryl as well.”
The documentary was branded “insightful and respectful” by viewers who praised Liam as “brave” for speaking out.