Niall Horan has said that he can't see live gigs returning for a long time due to the pandemic, adding, "it's a long way away. I can't see thousands getting into big venues for a while."

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show from rehearsals for his streaming gig on Saturday night at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the singer said he had seen Bruce Springsteen’s recent appearance on the Late Late and agreed with the Boss when he said gigging in front of large audiences was still a long way off.

Niall in action

"You definitely get a buzz off the crowd, there's no better feeling than getting out in front of thousands of people every night and just getting a reaction to songs that you have sat for hours writing," he said.

"We all get that same reaction whether we are crew or a band member or whatever. As Bruce said to you, I can't see it happening for a long time, it's a long way away. I can't see thousands getting into big venues for a while."

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Horan’s Albert Hall gig is been staged online to raise funds for his band and crew, many of whom have been out of work since last March when coronavirus restrictions came into effect.

Friday night's Late Late was a Taking Care of Business special, aired to bring attention to Irish businesses and how they are dealing with lockdown.

Horan, who rose to fame as a member of One Direction, revealed that he was doing his bit for Irish business, revealing, "There's a keg of Guinness in my dressing room right now, so we are definitely buying Irish here"

One Direction 

"It's so important, I always get stuff from home as well, as you know, you gave me a home package when I was there the last day..."

One Direction would be mad not to reform

The 27-year-old also said that he hasn't been home to Mullingar since last Christmas, and that he's missing his granny.

"She turned 90 there in August, she's flying, nobody would think she's 90 . . . I would love to get home for Christmas," he said.

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"For obvious reasons, it would be weird to get home. I usually get home five or six times a year at least, but this year has been a weird one, he added.

"There's going to be a lot of people that won't make it home for Christmas which is so sad really, especially if you are Irish, there's something about going home for Christmas, it's nearly a sin if you don't go home. Hopefully I can get home for Christmas, it will be an awful shame if not."