The remaining members of global chart-toppers One Direction have tweeted their reactions to the abrupt departure of Zayn Malik, a founding member of the British boy band, who announced two days ago he was quitting.

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The remaining foursome mostly reassured fans, but Liam Payne yesterday posted a longer and more contemplative message in which he wrote that 1D is "far from over."

"For the past five years now," Payne, 21, wrote on TwitLonger, "I've been part of something so special I don't think any of us really understand. . . . To a lot of people it's just a bunch of silly kids in a band but to the people involved it means so much more. This last week has been some of the worst times, possibly the worst. . . . It's sad to think for the time being we won't grace the stage as five bros or have the same fun on a tour bus or laughs in a hotel together that we have over the years."