Niall Horan has admitted that he "felt like a prisoner" in One Direction after the boy band shot to worldwide fame on The X Factor in 2010.

The 27-year-old Mullingar man star was just 16 when Simon Cowell put him in the chart-topping act alongside Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne.

The way they were

One Direction went on an extended hiatus in 2016 after Zayn quit the group the previous year, and all five members have since launched successful solo careers to varying degrees of success, including Horan, who released his second album, Heartbreak Weather, last year.

Now he has made an appearance on Dermot O'Leary's podcast People, Just People, and was asked if he ever felt like a "prisoner" in the band.

"A couple of times, yeah, because we were 17, 18, 19 for the first few years, and I struggled with it," Horan said.

"As you know, I have to be doing something all the time and the thought of just closing the curtain in my hotel room was just madness to me.

"I really struggled with the idea: 'Why won't you just let us out? We just want to go for a walk!' But you can't get inside the brain of a fan."

He added, "Now I completely get it, but at the time we were like: 'You're our age, will you just let us out so we can walk down the street! You must understand!'"

"One Direction would be mad not to reform."

Looking back on One Direction's success, he said, "In the UK, it was nuts. We'd go and do signings here and there and bits and pieces and that was crazy.


"That was the first kind of side of it, you know, banging on car windows. Around the release of What Makes You Beautiful is when it really kicked off.

"We did a HMV run around the country, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, to do the signings and that was the first time I saw the madness."