It's been a while since Zayn Malik quit One Direction, but the news is still very much a big discussion topic. Just ask Simon Cowell, who was questioned about the singer (and not for the first time) during an appearance on The Late Late Show.

It all started when the show's host, James Corden asked Simon where he was when he heard about Zayn's decision to leave the band. Simon delivered his response in perfect deadpan: "About to jump off a cliff," he said.

There had been a bit of speculation that Zayn might leave the group — not to mention a certain talk show host's assertion that the other boys should simply kick Zayn out of the band — and Simon says the news didn't come as a huge shock to him either.

"I kind of knew this was coming, if I was being honest with you," Simon said. "We'd had a few conversations, he wasn't happy, and I was trying to say to him 'look, I think you should stay around a bit longer' — and then something in him just said 'no I've had enough.'"

Simon, who discovered the One Direction boys when they were unknown contestants on The X Factor, said that while he tried to convince Zayn to stay in the group, he knew that once his decision had been made, there was no stopping him.

"I didn't want to push him too much because he was 22, I could see he was a bit stressed and he needed some time off," Simon said.

As for the other boys, Simon has nothing but good things to say. "They were in the middle of these live shows at the time and I watched the show back and they were — I gotta hand it to them — incredible," he said. "I have a feeling this year they're going to deliver the best record they've ever made."

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