Zayn Malik Quits One Direction - Will It Be As Traumatic As When These Famous Bands Announced Their Split?

The confirmation today that Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction will cause less shock than sadness for his many, devoted fans.

The 22-year-old decided to call it quits after abandoning the band's latest tour of the Far East and head home, signed off for "stress" following speculation about his relationship with fiancee Perrie Edwards.

One Direction - once were five

Now it's all over, and the rest of One Direction - Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson - must turn their attentions to working as a four-piece as they finish their tour and begin work on their fifth album.

5. Brian McFadden's departure from Westlife was announced in similarly funereal tones. In 2004, after six years with the band, the Irish singer explained, in slightly MP-esque fashion, that he wanted to "spend more time with his family"... oh, and solo projects. The band announced it would be business as usual without him, and so it proved. McFadden's family soon split, and he disappeared to Australia with new girlfriend Delta Goodrem. Two years ago, there was talk of his return to his former band, rumours they quickly dispelled - "we're a four-piece now."

4. The following year saw the split of Busted, with Charlie Simpson's announcement that he would be leaving the trio, to concentrate on another band Fightstar. Unlike Westlife, there was no business as usual to be conducted. You have to admire the concerted effort they make in this video to reject rumours that they didn't get on...

3. Geri's departure from the Spice Girls didn't come in the form of a united press conference, but with a terse announcement from her lawyer, in which she admitted to "differences" with the others... She promised to be back, and so she was...

2. The only surprise about the Oasis split in 2009 was that the Gallagher brothers had lasted so long without swinging a guitar over each other's head. But the split, when it came, was final, and these two, at least, have stuck by their word, both forming their own bands to chart and critical success, and showing no signs of giving in to sentiment or the lure of a big reunion pay-packet... thus far:

1. The honour for the most shocking split must surely go the Take That fans, who were left weeping and wailing in their millions following the news in 1996. The writing had been on the wall since charismatic clown Robbie Williams had departed the group the previous year, but it was still a big enough story for Radio 1 to break into their schedule with live coverage from the official press conference. And, if fans were upset enough to warrant special counselling telephone lines to be hastily set up, they could take comfort that Gary Barlow looked like he'd been punched in the stomach as well. Oh well, they only had to wait for a decade to see the band together once again, and a couple of years later, five familiar faces back on stage. So, all's well that ends well... JLS fans, take heart.

Come on, folks - is today really more stressful than all that? Oh, hold on...

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