Louis Tomlinson and Simon Cowell are launching a new girl band together.

The One Direction star has set up his own record label imprint under Sony and the pair are working with a new girl group, which Simon says are ''as good as I have ever heard''.

He said: ''He has just signed a deal with us as an imprint of a record label. He has a new artist who is going to be released this year I hope who are incredible.

''He has got fantastic instincts. He told me about this idea I would say a year or 18 months ago. He stuck with it.

''They are unbelievably good. They are as good as I have ever heard. I think he has got a real knack for this.''

And Simon also revealed he encouraged 24-year-old Louis' bandmate Harry Styles, 22, to sign his solo record deal with Columbia.

He told The Sun newspaper: ''I won't go into the technical detail but it was a deal which we encouraged.

''This was something we were very instrumental in and it was the result we all wanted so it was great.''

Although Simon did not confirm the amount, Hits Daily Double previously reported that Harry's three-album solo deal is worth $80 million.

The young star is also filming his first Hollywood movie, after landing a part in Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk'.

Meanwhile, fellow One Direction stars Liam Payne, 22, and Niall Horan, 22, are also set for solo success after Liam signed a deal with Capitol UK records while Niall is expected to put pen to paper on a contract with Syco in the coming weeks.

One Direction are currently on an indefinite hiatus but have promised their fans that they will be back.