One Direction to split up in March

In heartbreaking news for One Direction fans, the boyband are to split up in March.

Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan have decided to focus on solo ventures and will not tour their fifth album, according to The Sun.

One Direction's publicists declined to comment on the reports, which first emerged on Sunday night (August 23).

The group decided to disband for at least a year following a meeting in London last weekend.

A source for 1D cited the boyband's "incredible" five-year run since their formation on The X Factor in 2010, adding: "They fully deserve to have at least a year to work on their own projects. There is absolutely no bad blood between them and they are all 100% behind the decision.

"It is definitely not a split and they fully intend to get back together at some time in the future. But for now it is the end and they go out on top as the world's most popular music act."

The source also went on to explain that Zayn Malik's departure from the group earlier this year had no influence on the group's decision to disband.

"This was the plan with or without Zayn. In fact, the band have been making amazing music and been incredibly happy without Zayn," the insider claimed.

"Of course they would have preferred that he had stayed in the band, but they would have taken this extended hiatus even if he hadn't left."

One Direction had only just premiered their new music video for 'Drag Me Down' on Friday (August 21), which sees them train at NASA before taking off to space.

The former X Factor finalists recently confirmed a show in more earthly surroundings, headlining the Apple Music Festival at London's Roundhouse on September 22.

The last show they currently have booked is on October 31 at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.