It looks like Liam Payne and Cheryl may have secretly tied the knot as the One Direction star referred to her as his "wife" in a new interview.

Payne was appearing on the American radio show Morning Mash Up when he opened up about craving fast food, and in particular a Californian burger joint, when he used the term.

The internet has since exploded with speculation that the pair privately wed following the birth of their son Bear in March.

In an apparent slip of the tongue, he said: "I left my wife and child at home, and I was straight out to In & Out Burger."

Of course, he could just be using it as a term of endearment, and neither Payne nor Cheryl have commented publicly on the marriage rumours yet.

The showbiz couple welcomed their son Bear in March with Payne saying the Fight For This Love singer had "made my dreams come true".

The 1D star recently spoke about their son's unusual name, saying he had wanted "a more traditional name".

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33-year-old Cheryl and 23-year-old Payne first met when he appeared as a 14-year-old contestant on The X Factor in 2008 when she was a judge on the show. They began dating in early 2016.

She was previously married to footballer Ashley Cole from 2006 to 2010 before marrying French restaurateur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini in July 2014. The pair were granted a decree nisi in November last year in their divorce proceedings.

Payne is currently promoting his debut solo single Strip That Down.