By Arthur Aspall, Entertainment Editor
One Direction star Zayn Malik dramatically quit the band to become a monk, the Suffolk Gazette can reveal.
Heartthrob Malik became disillusioned with the adulation of young fans the world over, with teenage girls throwing themselves at him every day.
He sought retreat in the grounds of Leiston Abbey, close to the Suffolk coast, where he can now find peace and reflect on the meaning of life in solitude.
But he will not be leaving public life completely – his management have confirmed he will help local Suffolk Women’s Institute groups with singing lessons.
Malik, 22, left millions of One Direction fans stunned and heartbroken when he suddenly walked out on the band’s On The Road Again world tour yesterday.
One Direction will carry on as a foursome, headed by Harry Styles, who cried on stage in Jakata, Indonesia, after Malik left.
Religious staff at Leiston Abbey are now preparing for an army of delirious fans to descend on the town in search of their idol.
They have put up ten-foot-high stone walls around the estate, and watch towers are being installed for security guards.
Any fans thinking of breaking in are reminded of Suffolk Police’s recent announcement that they are to begin shooting suspects on sight as part of a cost-cutting measure.
Malik was not available for comment today, but a source in his management company said: “It’s true he has gone to Leiston. After years of being mobbed, and being unable to settle down, it’s no suprise that he is attracted to the monastic way of life.
“But he does want to give something back to society, and Suffolk Women’s Institute groups will be invited to Leiston Abbey to take singing lessons with him.
“He has set himself a private goal of ensuring a local WI group wins the national choir competition in Great Yarmouth this summer.”