One Direction star Liam Payne has claimed his former bandmate Zayn Malik was “forced” into The X Factor by his mother Tricia.

The singer, 26, says that Zayn, 27, didn’t want to try the singing contest out for himself, and doesn’t think his friend enjoys the showbiz lifestyle he was thrust into.

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The five-piece group were launched into a successful music career when One Direction became sought after teenage heartthrobs in 2010 after coming third-place on the show.

“I remember Zayn telling us the story that it was his mum got him to go to the audition the day he didn’t want to go and that was literally what we saw all the way through One Direction,” Liam told Daily Star.

And as the band are planning a reunion, the singer revealed that he and his bandmates Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson noticed that Zayn didn’t always seem happy in their group.

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He explained “some people are made for this thing” but doesn’t think the fame suited his pal, who has suffered with anxiety.

Liam said: “We always kind of knew that there were moments when One Direction was really Zayn and then there were moments when it really wasn’t.”

He insisted while Zayn likes to see their songs do well, he doesn’t like to perform or go to events with the rest of his friends.

The five lads were thrown into the limelight as teenagers and had to adapt to their new lifestyle very quickly.

Zayn was the first member to quit the group before the band announced their shock split in 2015.

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Recently, rumours of a reunion swirled as the 1D boys re-followed Zayn on Twitter in the run-up to their 10-year anniversary.

But Liam has shutdown hope that all five lads will get back together, especially in the wake of coronavirus.

He explained: “I think it is a bit premature [to think us re-following Zayn means he’s back].”

“Look at it this the way, every time one of us releases an album it is another two years and now with this on top of it everyone has had to backlog tours almost and cancel things.”

Liam recently hinted that DJ Alesso will replace Zayn if the reunion does go ahead after coming to a halt.

Speaking to the DJ on Instagram Live, who asked about the plans, Liam said: “Most of us are in London. We’ve been trying to arrange the first group FaceTime at the moment.”

He then added: “You can come and fill in for Zayn. Join the band!”