AceShowbiz - Simon Cowell has given One Direction fans fresh hope of a reunion after insisting the group's legacy is too important for Harry Styles and company not to regroup.
The music mogul helped create the band on Britain's The X Factor talent show in 2010, when he was a judge, and he oversaw their early success.
The group announced a hiatus in 2016 and the bandmates have been focusing on solo ventures ever since, with no sign of a get together in sight - but Cowell insists it's inevitable One Direction will return one day soon.
"I just think the legacy is too big not to go back to at one point," he tells Entertainment Tonight. "Plus they have enough songs. I didn't realise how many hits they've had...
"When they do get back together it will be a huge event," he adds. "But look, they're all doing their own thing and they're all being successful. But I have a feeling it will happen. I really do. I'd love it to happen.
"Everyone would love to see them back together, even if it was just a series of concerts".
Cowell, who is currently working with One Direction star Louis Tomlinson on the new season of the The X Factor in the U.K., admits he has always had a great fondness for the boys.
"Individually they were all great," he gushes.
But Simon has a new star in his eyes - young British singer Courtney Hadwin, who is tipped to win the current season of his show America's Got Talent, after wowing him and his fellow judges with a rendition of James Brown's Papa's Got a Brand New Bag in the show's first live round of the season on Tuesday, August 14.
"You always remember that one performance where you go, 'That's gonna make a difference'," he explains. "That was one of those moments. It was incredible".