Simon Cowell says he was ‘about to jump off a cliff’ when Zayn Malik left One Direction

The band's manager and 'X Factor' judge recently appeared on James Corden's US talk show

Simon Cowell has described the moment he found out Zayn Malik was leaving One Direction, joking to James Corden that he was “about to jump off a cliff”.

The boy band’s manager and X-Factor judge recently appeared on Corden’s Late Late Show talk show in the US, revealing that he was in Miami at the time and received a phone call from Malik.

“I kind of knew this was coming if I’m honest with you. We’d had a few conversations and he wasn’t happy,” Cowell says. “I was trying to say to him, ‘You should stay around a bit longer’, and then something in him said, ‘No, I’ve had enough’. Once the decision was made I dealt with it, then obviously made sure the guys were okay as they were shocked as well.”

Cowell also states that he “respects” Malik’s decision as he could see that the singer “needed some time off”.

“Once someone has made their mind up, they’re going to go,” Cowell continues. “At the same time I didn’t want to push him too much, he’s 22 and I could see he was stressed and needed some time off. I had to respect his decision.” Watch the full interview below.

Malik departed the boy band in March due to stress induced by press speculation over his love life.

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that One Direction had begun planning their next album.