James Corden channeled his inner Barbara Walters—or at least his version of Babs—on tonight’s edition of The Late Late Show. The newly minted British host had, due to a longstanding connection with what he dubbed “the biggest band in the world,” landed his most hotly anticipated interview to date: the first chat with the baby-faced boy band One Direction since the departure of founding member Zayn Malik.
Now One Direction, for the uninitiated, is a bizarre phenomenon. Forged in the fires of reality TV—X Factor—the immaculately coiffed group has indeed emerged as one of the most popular musical acts in the world, being the first act in Billboard 200 history to have their first four albums debut at No. 1 on the charts.
“No one can replace Zayn, it’s about the four of them and they have a very rich and brilliant future ahead of them,” Corden said this week at the TV BAFTAs.
Well, early Friday morning, following a strange skit featuring the gang playing dodgeball, Corden grilled the man-children on Malik’s exit.
“We should talk about the fact that there are now four of you, on this sofa, where there has always been five, because Zayn Malik has left the band,” Corden said.
He proceeded to grill 1D member Louis Tomlinson on his recent Twitter feud with Malik, which saw Tomlinson trolling Malik’s producer Naughty Boy with Malik replying, “remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?”
“Yeah, there’s been a bit of back and forth. We’re now on good terms,” Tomlinson said, adding, “I’ve never been good at biting me tongue. I get it off my mum. It’s just one of those things, you know. Twitter’s is great at connecting with fans, but if you feel like saying something that you probably shouldn’t, it’s also good for that as well—in this case.”
Corden then asked if the guys have had any contact with Malik since the well-publicized social media spat.
“It’s all resolved, James. No qualms,” Tomlinson replied.
“You know, it’s like anything. At first we were a little bit angry, we were a little bit surprised, but we all kind of knew the general vibe that Zayn was feeling,” Liam Payne added.
“You could sort of tell,” he continued. “From the outside people could tell as well. There are certain parts of this job that Zayn loved, and there are certain parts of this job that he didn’t. And if you don’t like your job, you’ve got to follow your heart sometimes and go where you need to go. And there’s no arguing with that. Like I say, we were angry at first, and then it was more just a bit disappointed. We wish him the best of luck with whatever he gets up to and stuff, and there’s no hard feelings. It’s just going to, you know, carry on as usual.”
To which Corden asked, “Did you think about calling it a day?” “No, not at all,” said Niall Horan. “The four of us, we love every part of it. The shows have been great on the tour, and the fans deserve it, you know, they’ve been absolutely fantastic to us. And we enjoy every aspect of it. And the shows have been great. We’re in the studio at the minute, that’s why we’re here. So, yeah, we’re looking forward to bringing out a new record and going on more tours and stuff. And we’re really enjoying it.”
Cue Corden: “Harry, did you ever think, ‘Oh, maybe we should get someone else? Maybe we should get someone else into the band?”
“No,” Styles replied, shutting down Corden.