NIALL Horan has said that he “felt like a prisoner” in One Direction, with the band achieving worldwide success after shooting to fame on The X Factor in 2010.
The 27-year-old star was just 16 when Simon Cowell and co. put him in the band alongside Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne.
Zayn sensationally quit the group in March 2015, and the rest of the band went on an extended hiatus the following year.
All five members have since launched successful solo careers, including Niall – who much prefers his current pace of life to the one he forged in 1D.
Appearing on Dermot O’Leary’s podcast People, Just People, Niall was asked if he ever felt like a “prisoner” during the height of the band’s fame.
The Irish hunk replied: “A couple of times, yeah, because we were 17, 18, 19 for the first few years, and I struggled with it.
“As you know, I have to be doing something all the time and the thought of just closing the curtain in my hotel room was just madness to me.
“I really struggled with the idea: ‘Why won’t you just let us out? We just want to go for a walk!’ But you can’t get inside the brain of a fan.”
Niall continued: “Now I completely get it, but at the time we were like: ‘You’re our age, will you just let us out so we can walk down the street! You must understand!'”
Reflecting on One Direction’s success, the singer explained: “In the UK, it was nuts. We’d go and do signings here and there and bits and pieces and that was crazy.
KEEP KHAN & CARRY ON
Faryal Khan reveals why she took love rat Amir back in explosive show
Helen Flanagan gives birth to first son with footballer fiancé Scott Sinclair
KID YOU NOT
Will Mellor’s jailbird dad would hit him so hard he’d ‘cry until he passed out’
Ashley Cain ‘devastated’ as he’s told baby daughter’s leukaemia has relapsed
Strictly’s Maisie and HRVY call time on romance after spark ‘fizzled out’
“That was the first kind of side of it, you know, banging on car windows. Around the release of What Makes You Beautiful is when it really kicked off.
“We did a HMV run around the country, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, to do the signings and that was the first time I seen the madness.”
Over their six years in the spotlight, One Direction sold over 200 million records – and won almost 200 awards, including seven BRITs.