Simon Cowell has announced that he is on the lookout for a brand new boy band to emulate the success of One Direction.

The famous music mogul said he is "praying" to find people as talented as the music group comprised of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne.

One Direction formed 14 years ago after being brought together by the head judge on The X Factor.

Simon Cowell wants to go 'back to basics' in his search for the next big boy band

Lancashire Telegraph: One Direction comprised of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam PayneOne Direction comprised of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne (Image: David Parry Media Assignments)

Discussing his search, Simon Cowell said he wants to go "back to basics" to contrast with the live auditions on programmes like The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent.

He told the PA news agency: “I would pray to find a band as good as One Direction and to find the records as good as they made, there are so many factors involved to make a band successful all over the world.

“You can’t fake this, even though I’m the one going out to do the auditions, it really depends on the individuals. If you find the right people I’m not someone who says dress like this, say this, do this, it is just not my style and I never once did that with One Direction.”

He described One Direction as "lightning in a bottle" but stated that he is hopeful that he'll find a group to rival their success.

However, he said that the recent decline in UK artists breaking internationally is “shocking”.

Ahead of the nationwide auditions later this month, he donned a pair of dungarees and scaled a ladder to put up a huge billboard in London reading: “Simon needs you. Future megastars wanted for new boyband. No time wasters.”

He said: “Bands never knock on your front door, it’s never happened in my career, someone has to go out and put them together – and the truth is since One Direction there hasn’t been a successful UK boyband.

“The only way to do it is do what I used to do, go out and do it and audition and do it face to face and don’t have any pre-casting.

“In other words, don’t have people choose people in advance, it really is first come first served.

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“You have to see a lot of people, the auditions are quick and you have to pray and hope enough people turn up and the right people turn up.

“If we are lucky enough to find the right people then there has never been a better time to be in a band right now.”

Asked why he was rejecting the X Factor format, he said: “Because I wanted to show the process of what really, really happens when we do this.

“I’ve been in the music business for a long, long time and I’ve never seen anything that portrays what really, really happens when you go out and audition.

“You have to make an awful lot of decisions and a lot happens which we’ve never really showed. So I thought, apart from anything else, it will be really interesting to document the process and then hope also along the way that we get lucky enough to find the right people, because if we don’t get enough people turn up we are screwed.”

He also shared that he was dismissive of those seeking fame through TikTok, telling PA: “I have no interest in those people whatsoever. I’m only interested in people who want to show up and tell us why they want to do this.

“And if they can’t be bothered to do this, then they’re the wrong people to be in the band, because it’s hard work being in a band.”

He added: “If you really honestly believe that just by posting your videos on TikTok or whatever, you’re going to suddenly get a global career, well buy a lottery ticket, because the market is so crowded right now with so many people trying to get attention.

“Posting videos in your bedroom, it’s not enough and I’m trying to prove a point here that to succeed in the music business, you got to get up, you’ve got to turn up, you’ve got to show up.

“And by showing up, it shows that you’ve got ambition. Because the decline in UK artists breaking internationally right now is shocking.

“I’ve never ever seen such a bad, sorry state of affairs. And I’m not doing this as a crusade but I hope to prove a point that this is one of the ways of getting a career in the music business.

“Because if the band’s successful, as One Direction has shown, you do have a chance of having a really successful solo career.”


How to audition for Simon Cowell's brand-new boy band

Those interested in applying can do so at These auditions are scheduled to take place in Newcastle on July 4 and 5, Liverpool on July 7 and 8, Dublin on July 28 and 29 and London on August 1, 2 and 3.

He will be joined by people he trusts from his record label and TV company, who he believes “genuinely made a difference in One Direction’s career”.

He added: “I’m praying that this is going to work and even if it doesn’t work, at least I can say, ‘Well, I tried.’

“I’m really passionate about this. And I always always believed that there are gems out there waiting to be discovered.”

The search is being documented by a TV crew from Box To Box Films, the company behind Formula 1: Drive To Survive, and Cowell said he is “getting close” to announcing the format it will take.