Four years ago I told Zayn Malik to leave One Direction. Now I feel responsible

It was in a drunken chat

From Zayn leaving, to Perrie’s broken heart, Louis’ lovechild and the eventual break-up announcement, it hasn’t been a good few months for fanatic Directioners. But one of them feels the pain even more than the rest.

QUB third year Niamh Campbell was just 17 when she met Zayn, Niall, Harry, Louis and Liam at in August 2011.

She said: “I told Zayn he was the best singer in 1D and could probably make it on his own.

“Weird how that works out.”

Niamh celebrated her twist of fate in a Timehop post on Facebook

Niamh got the opportunity a thousand screaming teenagers would die for, meeting the boys in the band before they shot to global fame.

The fateful chat happened just after they had finished second on X Factor and before the release of their first hit What Makes You Beautiful.

And far from being the stars they are today, she says they were down to earth and even got drunk with her.

Niamh (left) with Louis Tomlinson

Niamh says: “It was the week before the song came out and they were smashed.

“Liam ripped his trousers trying to Irish dance and Harry Styles was so ridiculously drunk I’m pretty sure his card got declined at the bar.”

Harry and the other boys were down to earth and partied with them

The chatty English third year struck up a conversation with Niall outside and, convincing them they weren’t smashed enough, suggested upping their pace.

“Niall said he wasn’t even that drunk so I said ‘right, well we’re doing shots then’. That’s how I got talking to Zayn.

“And then I ended up chatting to Zayn on my own inside.”

Niamh says she told Zayn he could go out on his own and he was the best singer in the band, but he wasn’t even her favourite in the first place.

“I told him he had the best voice, but I remember telling my friend the day before my least favourite member was the one who wouldn’t dance on X Factor. That was Zayn, but he turned out to be my favourite in the end.”