WHEN ONE DIRECTION began an extended hiatus at the end of 2015, much was made of the friendships and alliances within the world’s biggest band.
LOUIS TOMLINSON was the natural leader of 1D and keen for the group to continue their chart-conquering progress.
But his former BFF HARRY STYLES was ready to go on an indefinite break, leading to understandable tensions within the group. In part two of his revealing world-exclusive interview, Louis is brutally honest about that difficult period, shining a light for the first time on how the decision to split was made.
He says: “It was an uncomfortable time more than anything. We’ve always had a level of respect for each other in these meetings and we always said that 100 per cent honesty and openness is so important if you’re going to get on as a band.
It made those situations a little bit difficult because I felt like I really was building up confidence in myself and in my place within the band and as a songwriter in the band.I could feel that potentially it was going to be a break. What was difficult was trying to understand how long that might be. So that process was kind of a little uncomfortable.
You’re asking guys who have grown up being best friends to make selfish decisions, which they should do, based on themselves.“But it doesn’t change the fact that it was difficult for me to accept at first.”
However, 18 months on, with the launch of a promising solo career, Louis’ opinion has changed.
He says: “If you asked me now if I think it’s the wrong decision, I don’t think it was. I think the market and the fans and everyone had had so much of One Direction that regardless of any individual ventures, the market could do with a two-, three- or however long break away from us.”
Louis — who yesterday released his new single Back To You with rising star BEBE REXHA,— is honest that he is not as close to Harry as NIALL HORAN or LIAM PAYNE.
He says: “There’s no politics or anything. Inevitably in a band, you’re going to get some people who get on really well and some people who get on quite well. I have forever had a very, very high level of respect for Harry. He’s great in this situation, he’s great on stage, he’s a great musician and artist. It’s just one of those things that happens naturally in a band.”
Louis and Harry’s friendship was also dogged by a ridiculous five-year conspiracy by a group of determined fans known as Larries.
They believe that the pair are in a romantic relationship that was covered up by 1D management, SIMON COWELL and even me (I promise you I’d have been delighted to report that Harry and Louis were an item if that were the case).
Sadly, Louis admits the pressure from Larry conspiracy theorists was a factor in their friendship struggling, especially given the serious relationship he has with girlfriend Eleanor Calder.
He says: “I’ve never actually been asked about it directly. It’s a funny thing. It kind of happened naturally for me and Harry because a certain amount of the fans drew up this conspiracy.
When it first came around I was with Eleanor, and it actually felt a little bit disrespectful to Eleanor, who is my girlfriend now. I’m so protective over things like that, about the people I love.
So it created this atmosphere between the two of us where everyone was looking into everything we did. It took away the vibe you get off anyone. It made everything, I think on both fences, a little bit more unapproachable. I think it shows that it was never anything real, if I can use that word.”
In recent months I’ve asked Liam, Niall and Harry whether 1D could re-form without Harry or with former bandmate ZAYN MALIK.
Louis is clearly surprised by the question and takes a long time to think before replying: “When Zayn left, it still felt like One Direction, but we still didn’t feel like the whole. So then to even take maybe Harry out as well — it’s something that I can’t ever imagine, really. I feel like it’s got to be for the fans, and not for the three that want to get back together.”.
Louis is clearly keen for the band to get back together, but he understands that Harry — currently promoting his big-screen debut in the film Dunkirk — has not yet made a decision.
He says: “Harry is actually an inspiring person to watch as a businessman, as a musician. He doesn’t really lose, Harry. He’s a very, very hard worker and his potential is massive in so many different fields.
So I don’t know the answer, but if I’m Harry . . . I don’t know yet. Honestly, I just think it’s too difficult to say, especially with someone like Harry, who’s got so much potential. It’s just kind of a confusing place for him to be as an individual, to be like, ‘OK, what is next?’ ”
1D fans are asking exactly the same thing . . .
THE end of 1D was hard on all the boys – and now Louis has revealed how upsetting it was after their final concert in Sheffield.
He said: “I’ve got this video from the last show. There’s a minute of me and Niall hugging, just kind of sobbing like, ‘This is f***ing crazy.’
”Louis was always close to Niall, but being apart hasn’t dampened their friendship.
He added: “Niall’s the best. We just get so excited about each other’s s**t.” Cute.
Holding on to Si
HE was discovered on The X Factor, and it was on that stage that One Direction gave their final performance in December 2015.
But Louis has admitted he felt frustrated last summer when he wasn’t given a judging role following lengthy discussions about replacing NICK GRIMSHAW.
He said: “It was something that I would have liked to have done. But it’s business. That’s how it works. It was kind of surprising to see me essentially being replaced by LOUIS WALSH.”
But the Just Hold On singer held no grudge against show boss SIMON COWELL. He is the only 1D member to sign with Cowell’s Syco label after the pop guru masterminded the group’s success.
Louis said: “Simon has always been willing to listen. It was a no-brainer to me.”
It has certainly worked well so far.
FROM London to LA, Louis has lived around the globe since 1D began. But he still cherishes his home town Doncaster, where he shot the video for his new single.
He said: “I love it. I feel like I owe people from Doncaster. But I just get this feeling . . . I want to push Doncaster on everyone.”
Louis, whose baby son Freddie Reign lives in LA with his ex Briana Jungwirth, added: “LA’s very different to Doncaster. The people are chalk and cheese. I obviously cherish my time with my son and it’s fantastic for work and the weather is great, but I do cherish my time back home.”
LIAM PAYNE and CHERYL are one of the most loved-up couples in pop, but even Louis didn’t quite believe they were together at first.
Asked if he thought his bandmate was joking when he confided in him about his relationship, Louis said: “I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t 100 per cent. I’m not saying I didn’t buy it – of course I did. It was just a little bit surprising for me at first.”
He knew about the couple’s secret romance in February last year at the Brit Awards but kept his lips sealed.
Louis continued: “I remember being outside and sharing a cigarette with them and him being excited and trying to play it cool. But I’m really happy for him. I think it’s important that Liam has someone around him who’s going to really look after him. I don’t know Cheryl too well. I’ve always thought she’s lovely, so hopefully she looks after our Liam.”
Perrie : “It’s a hard situation cause you don’t know how you’d act unless you are in that situation. But Louis is such a nice guy so I feel like the accusations are a bit, when you watch the video all he’s doing is protecting his girlfriend like any normal guy would; but because he is obviously in which was one of the biggest bands in the world people are just gonna be constantly on him which I think is unfair for him and Eleanor.”
Jesy : “Is it paps?”
Perrie : “It was a pap, and while he’s telling the pap ‘oi oi’ like stop taking pictures if you know whatever, while he looks over Eleanor is getting like jumped on by few girls, like you can clearly see that those girls have got Eleanor against a wall.”
Disney Imagineer Leota Toombs became the face and namesake of Madame Leota by chance. In the early stages of the seance room, Yale Gracey asked her if she minded posing for the head of a disembodied gypsy. “As I remember, my eyes were the right distance apart to fit the test model when the whole thing began.” She once said.
Gracey decided to keep Leota’s face in the ball, because it had the perfect “gypsy look”. Her real voice is also that of ‘Little Leota’, the miniature bride that bids you farewell. Eleanor Audley famously voice’s Leota’s fully-grown head.