Simon Cowell told the Sun in an interview over the weekend that British boy band One Direction is planning to take a break next year after releasing their fifth album. 

Cowell also told band member Louis Tomlinson, 23, to "man up" after the pop singer sought Cowell's advice about getting his ex-girlfriend Briana Jungwirth pregnant. One Direction signed a deal with Syco Records, Cowell's record company, in 2010, after they came third in the reality TV show "The X Factor," on which Cowell appeared as a judge. 

"In terms of the band, they’ve got enough hits now they can take some time off and do some other stuff they want to do. Then I hope they’ll have a little bit of time apart and want to get back together again. It’s a fun job, but it’s absolutely their decision," Cowell said, according to the Sun.

Tomlinson reportedly turned to Cowell for advise after he found out that Jungwirth is pregnant. Cowell then advised him on how to deal with the situation and said: "I said to him, 'You man up. You’re fortunate because you’re in a position to be able to look after the baby and not worry too much about that,'" the Sun reported.

"But I also told him, ‘I’ve received bad calls in my life but this is not one of them. This is your business but I’m here for you,'" Cowell reportedly said, adding: "He didn’t kill anyone. He got someone pregnant. It happens every day all over the world. Again, Louis has got great family around him and, look, it’s a plus, not a negative."

Cowell also reportedly confirmed that he has removed former member Zayn Malik from his Syco label. Cowell said, according to the Sun: "Well, because it was his decision to leave the group and we hadn’t asked him to do it, I felt my main responsibility was to the band. They didn’t ask for it to happen either and I did sign One Direction as a group.

"But luckily within Sony there are a lot of labels who are really good. I had a feeling there was one particular label who would love to have him and they did," Cowell said, adding: "It enables them to treat him as a priority and us to carry on with what we’re doing with the boys." "It also means no one has any nerves about whether we’re working harder on them or him."

Malik’s fans have lashed out against his fiancée Perrie Edwards on social media, blaming her for his decision to leave the band, though she has denied playing a role in his exit.

"People have said did I do this, did I do that? No matter what decision he made, I was always going to support him. If he’d wanted to stay, I would have supported him just the same as I have done since he’s left ... If he’s happy then I’m happy," Edwards reportedly said, in an interview last month, adding: "He’s really good. Hopefully everyone understands that it was one of the hardest decisions he’s ever made in his life."