One Direction have joked they are paid in ''jelly beans'' by Simon Cowell.

The British boy band were put together by the music mogul on the 2010 series of the UK version of 'The X Factor' and claim Simon is so rich because he is very frugal with the cash he makes from his TV shows and pop acts.

Niall Horan quipped: ''Simon Cowell is tight. That's why he's so successful - he's able to keep his money to himself. We're paid in jelly beans.''

Despite Niall's comment, Simon recently paid all five members £2 million each, according to The Sun newspaper.

The boys - Niall, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson - could be set to increase their earning potential even further by writing their own tracks just like music legends The Beatles.

Liam said: ''We did watch The Beatles' movie 'A Hard Day's Night' recently and it was funny to see things they did that are similar to us.''

Harry insists he and his bandmates - who are currently at number four in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart with 'What Makes You Beautiful' - are working hard on new music to stay fresh.

He said: ''We're always writing on the road and in hotels and airports.

''We don't ever want our music to sound like a 40-year-old man in an office has written it and given it to us to perform.''