One direction this is us

Story of their Life: The rise and fall of One Direction
As a One Direction hiatus looms on the horizon, we chart the highs and lows of the X Factor's most successful creation


1. the start

Back in 2010, the country was lacking a band for teenage girls to throw their knickers at. Westlife had withered into their stools and the charts were dominated by female artists like Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. There was a gap in the market for a new boy band and, naturally, Simon Cowell had spotted it.

So, did he tirelessly trawl the dingy pubs and working men’s clubs of Britain, in search of a diamond in the rough? Of course not, he sat in a TV studio and waited for the answer to his prayers to come to him. He didn’t have to hang around long...

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