Los Angeles - Simon Cowell thinks One Direction are in a "great place".
The 55-year-old music mogul was just as "shocked" about Zayn Malik's departure from the chart-topping group last month but thinks the other members - Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson - have taken it in their stride.
Speaking at the launch of Britain's Got Talent, he told BANG Showbiz: "Having seen the show without [Zayn], I think they're doing amazing. They've been very professional, and as long as the boys want it, they'll carry on regardless. The boys are in a great place."
And whilst Simon admits he wasn't "jumping up and down with joy" when he heard the news, he respects the 22-year-old singer's decision.
He added: "I wasn't jumping up and down with joy but I'm a big boy. I was shocked, I wasn't expecting it to happen so quickly, but when things happen you just have to deal with it.
"I respect his wishes. It took the boys a few weeks but they've shown real strength of character."
Zayn recently sparked rumours he is working on his own solo music when he was spotted at a studio in London with music producer Naughty Boy and whilst Simon thinks the "future's bright" for the singer, he believes he needs time away from the spotlight to "get himself together".
He said: "He's a fantastic singer, but he needs to get himself together a little bit. He needs some time on his own to be a normal 22-year-old, which he's going to have.
"I want to say to all of them, your future's bright depending on what you want to do. They've been great together onstage for a long time and my hunch is they still will be. They're just too good for anything to stop now."
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