Belfast Telegraph

Fans head in One Direction to mob boyband

By Lesley Houston and Hannah Gourley

They may never have had a single in the charts, but they are still capable of provoking mass hysteria.

X Factor finalists One Direction yesterday brought pandemonium to the streets of Belfast during a whistle-stop visit to the city.

The five-strong boyband were in the city to promote their new single What Makes You Beautiful, treating hundreds of shrieking girls to quick glimpses.

After a morning visit to Belfast’s Citybeat radio station, the band were whisked next door to UTV for a quick interview with presenter Frank Mitchell.

“I’ve been shocked by the reaction here today,” shouted DJ Maurice Jay over the excited crowd screaming at impressively very high decibels. It’s like Westlife 10 years ago,” he said.

Donna O’Neill had chanced her luck by posting on Citybeat’s Facebook wall pleading for a chance to see the boys, and it paid off after kind-hearted U105 DJ Jay sent her a message, offering her and friend Shannon Kelly a chance to meet the band.

“Our friends are outside and they’re so jealous,” gloated the beaming 16-year-olds. Grace McKenna, also 16 and from Mullingar — the same town as the one Irish member of the band, Niall — was among the throng outside the broadcast centre waiting to see the band.

“The boys are just so hot and lovely and I will definitely be watching The X Factor this year if there's another group like One Direction.”

She also had strong views on the new X Factor line-up, saying: “I don't think the new judging line-up is going to work; you always need someone who is prepared to tell it like it is, and that person was always Simon.

“I’m glad to see Cheryl’s not on the judging panel anymore, I never really liked her personality and found her a bit fake on the programme.”

Joining her from the Republic, Rachel Farley (16) was also undecided about the new judging line-up for this year’s X factor.

“I think Tulisa will be quite good because she's outspoken and not afraid to say what she thinks, but the rest of them are all a bit boring.”

Beth McClements (17), Oonagh Lavery (16) and Tara McCready, (15) from Belfast were so keen to meet the boys, they had been camped outside Citybeat since 3.30am.

The girls spoke of their “One Direction affection”, with Beth admitting she was “completely obsessed” with the young heartthrobs.

Background

One Direction’s members Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne finished third on the 2010 series of The X Factor, signing a £2m record contract with Syco a short time later. Each had initially failed as solo entrants on the show and only came together following the advice of guest judge Nicole Scherzinger. It proved sound advice and the five teens managed to qualify in the groups category. Niall (17) is from Mullingar, Westmeath, while the rest hail from England.

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