The boy bandmates came together on The X Factor in 2010 and signed off almost exactly five years later by performing new songs History and Infinity.

The quartet's mentor Simon Cowell, who is a judge on the show, was all smiles as he watched the group he helped create perform, stating, "This takes me back five years ago when I met five guys, singing as solo artists. I never could have predicted what happened next. I know you're gonna take a break, you deserve it.

"I want to take a chance now to say, thank you, you've been an absolute pleasure to work with. Five of the nicest guys I ever met. Enjoy the time off, have a fantastic time."

Zayn Malik quit the band earlier this year (15), several months before Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne announced plans to take a lengthy break from each other in 2016.

The bandmates were also treated to a series of videotaped messages from the likes of Robbie Williams, Danny DeVito, 5 Seconds Of Summer and David Beckham, who all wished the four pop stars well as they embark on a hiatus.

Payne then told fans, "We've had the most amazing five years. We're sad we're going away for a little while but we need it. You can see how happy we are, it's genuine happiness."

The X Factor finale also featured a performance from Adele, who sported a new short-bob hairstyle, which became a huge trending topic online.

Louise Johnson was crowned the winner of this year's talent show.