SIMON Cowell has apologised after he took a swipe at Zayn Malik at a recent awards ceremony which was held in his honour.
The X Factor boss left the crowd stunned after he accepted his gong from One Direction and slammed their former bandmate – who left the boy band in March – by insisting he would do just as well as their fifth member.
Speaking from the stage at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel with Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Liam Payne standing behind him, he said: “Just by luck I get the award I’ve been wanting all my life and I’m completely hammered.
“Guys, who misses Zayn? We all get old but I’ve still got charisma.”
But less than a week later, the 56-year-old has issued an apology while admitting it “backfired hugely”.
“I just kind of thought when I was standing on stage with them, that they were back to being five, and I saw myself [being a part of] One Direction for a moment,” he told New York’s Fresh 102.7.
“That’s when I made that quip, â€˜Who Needs Zayn?’ which of course backfired hugely. So I apologize to any Zayn fans out there â€“ it was meant as a joke.”
Meanwhile, Zayn’s new manager recently gave an interview where she said nothing will get in the star’s way.
Sarah Stennett – the boss behind the likes of Ellie Goulding and Iggy Azalea – claimed she simply has to ensure nobody stops her new client “becoming an important artist”.
Speaking about his time in One Direction, she told Billboard: “The environment he was in was all about compromise… My job is simple: Make sure nobody gets in the way of him becoming an important artist.” – Daily Mirror