Simon Cowell has confirmed he is still looking after Zayn Malik since he quit One Direction, and thinks he has a promising solo career ahead of him.

Zayn, 22, announced last month he was quitting the boyband – which was formed during The X Factor in 2010 – to live a “normal life”.

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Simon Cowell

Simon admitted at the launch for Britain’s Got Talent that it had been a bit of a shock, but he had known for some time Zayn had been thinking of leaving 1D.

He said: “It happens in bands, it’s one of those things. You can’t make somebody do something they don’t want to do. And I respected his decision.

“But these are strong boys, you know, they’ve got real heart, real character, and once they got over the shock, they just got together and put on some amazing shows. So they’re in good spirits.”

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