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LONDON – Teenage screams the likes of which have not been heard here in decades rang out in the British capital as pop sensations One Direction hit the red carpet for the world premiere of 1D: This Is Us.
Band members Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson rocked the red carpet amid the ear-splitting decibel levels of an estimated 70,000 fans. Leicester Square had to be sealed off by the police as the crowds swelled to capacity at the central London location.
Directed by Morgan Spurlock, the movie follows the five-member boy band who were put together in 2010 by music maestro Simon Cowell on the U.K. version of The X Factor after early exits as individuals.
The band went on to come in third on that year’s show, and Spurlock’s film follows them as they go on to become what myriad U.K. outlets have described as “global sensations.”
Cowell earned his own teenybopper adulation when he arrived at the event, introduced to the crowd as the person who made the hysteria possible.
Sporting Ray Ban Aviators on the red carpet, Cowell said he “felt like a father” as the band members walked amid the screaming fans, referencing the recent media frenzy about him becoming a dad. “It’s like a dream come true,” Cowell said, as the crowd’s screams threatened to drown him out.
Spurlock said the premiere was the biggest movie event he had ever been to, let alone the largest event for any movie he has been involved in. “This is the greatest movie premiere I have ever been to in my life,” he said.
He also joked that he was the “sixth member” of the band and that he was “ready to step in” before singing and dancing to the band’s hit “She’s Not Afraid.”
Styles and his bandmates described the movie as showing them “the way they really are.”
Styles didn’t disappoint, strolling the red carpet taking pictures with fans and signing autographs while grinning like a Cheshire cat. He said he wanted to be doing this for the rest of his life, and that he loves singing and performing.
Horan took the opportunity to plug the band’s upcoming new album, describing it as “more grown up” and adding that he couldn’t wait for fans to hear it.
A host of other X Factor U.K. alumni showed up to support the boys, including Little Mix and members of JLS, who recently announced plans to disband.
Other celebs on hand included The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood, X Factor host Dermot O’Leary, former Cowell girlfriend Sinitta and boy band McFly.
The BBC live-streamed the event along with myriad other outlets, including Rupert Murdoch‘s tabloid newspaper The Sun and its arch rival The Mirror.
The Huffington Post also carried a live feed from the event ahead of the movie’s world debut at iconic movie theater the Empire Leicester Square.
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