One Direction’s band members are to go their own direction.

A source close to the British-Irish boyband said that the quintet, who were on the verge of cracking the lucrative US market, decided to split because they would never be bigger than the Beatles. “They certainly believed they would be bigger than Oasis but they reckoned that, at best, they would be only as good as Boyzone and Westlife combined, or Boylife if you will,” said the source.

The split follows comments by Beatle Paul McCartney about the band being bigger than Liverpool’s finest in the wake of their debut album, Up All Night, topping the US Billboard charts. And while the notion of being the next ‘Boylife’ was tempting, for a band intent on world domination this was not enough.

The source, a long-term friend of the band who goes by the moniker Aprile Wan, was unable to confirm whether the band had planned a trip to Mars to avoid the inevitable media scrum following the news.

James Cameron was also unavailable for comment on the rumour that he was going to direct the biopic One Direction in 4D.