Showbiz Content Editor, Amy Brookbanks, explains why she thinks former One Direction star Zayn Malik will regret his decision as soon as he realises that life in ‘the real world' isn't as much fun...

I remember it like it was yesterday when Robbie Williams quit my favourite group Take That in 1995. I was completely devastated and it took days for the news to sink in that I might never see my Robbie ever again. Obviously I did – he went onto become one of the most successful solo artists of all time – but today, millions of heartbroken One Direction fans will feel the same uncertainty as news breaks that Zayn Malik, one fifth of the biggest boyband in the whole world ever, has quit.

We gasped, we screamed, we swore, we cried… and then the office spun out of control.
‘Noooooo!’
‘What?!’
‘Why?!’
‘He’s going to regret that!’
‘What’s he going to do next?!’

Zayn‘s official statement explained: ‘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 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.’

The news of Zayn‘s departure comes just days after he hit the front pages when he was spotted holding hands in Thailand with a girl, 19-year-old Lauren Richardson, who definitely wasn’t his fiancée, Little Mix‘s Perrie Edwards. Just a couple of days after those images were released Zayn quit the On The Road Again tour claiming he was ‘stressed’. A week later he quit the band forever.

I can’t help thinking that this is a knee-jerk reaction to some negative attention that nobody really cared about and in quitting One Direction, Zayn has made the biggest mistake of his life.

As a 22-year-old boy in the most lusted-after boyband ever, he’s had the world at his fingertips. Zayn‘s travelled all over the world to more countries than any 22-year-old will go in a lifetime. As one fifth of the richest boyband in music history, (yep, bigger than The Beatles and Take That), Zayn‘s got an estimated £15 million in the bank when I imagine most of his mates back home in Bradford are lucky enough if they earn minimum wage. His boss, Simon Cowell, is the most famous man in the world. He’s become a role model for millions of adoring fans who worship the ground he walks on – how amazing is that?! And let’s not forget the five star treatment – living in the best hotels, traveling by private jet, people being nice to you all the time – that must have been nice!

Bless him though… this ‘private life’ he craves isn’t going to happen, is it? Something tells me that even though he wants to be a ‘normal 22-year-old’ now, he can’t just erase the fact that he’s one of the most famous people in the whole world so it’s unlikely we’ll see him popping out to the shops to buy a loaf of bread or swigging a pint in his local. After all, he’s due to marry one of the most famous women in the world and his fans will always love him… And for those reasons he’ll always be in the spotlight.

So relax Directioners, Zayn might not be in One Direction anymore but you have nothing to fear, he’s not going anywhere soon! After all, he’s enjoyed five years in a very priviliaged and protected showbiz bubble, so surely he’s going to look back and wish he was still part of it as soon as he realises that life in ‘the real world’ isn’t as much fun. A solo career of some sort beckons… just look at Robbie!

Amy Brookbanks