DM Detroit - Fans were left heartbroken when it was confirmed One Direction would be taking an extended hiatus next March. But Simon Cowell claims he’s always known the bans were planning a temporary split and has been drip-feeding the news to their young supporters by dropping hints over the past year.

The Syco music manager’s comments come as the boys - Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan - performed at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on Saturday night as they continue their On The Road Again Tour.

Despite their relentless schedule and the demands of a big arena show, 1D was as energetic and enthusiastic as ever as they bounded out onto the stage.

The pop heartthrobs were their usual optimistic selves as they powered through their biggest hits including Steal My Girl and What Makes You Beautiful, thrilling their army of devoted fans.

It was a special concert since Liam was celebrating his 22nd birthday, with Niall describing the show as Liam’s very own ‘birthday party’ and joking about his ‘birthday suit’. The boys, who have been on top form despite the departure of fifth member Zayn Malik this spring - were dressed down in their favourite casual jeans and T-shirts for the stellar show.

Meanwhile, music boss Simon has revealed he has known for months the boys would be taking a long hiatus, but was worried about breaking the news to their fans.

‘I kind of hinted a few months ago they’d be having time off’, the 55-year-old star told the Sunday People. ‘It was the world’s worst kept secret.’