He's one of the biggest pop stars in the world, but things could have been very different for Zayn Malik.

The former One Direction member has been pondering what might have been if the whole boyband thing had never happened, and he reckons that an academic career would probably have been on the cards.

He told VMan: "I think about alternative realities. I think I’d be at university and I would have done my English degree. I think I’d be looking for some employment to do with English lecturing or literature.”

He added: "I love poetry and writing – obviously, I’m a songwriter – so, it would’ve been something that would still give me the feeling of a creative outlet within my writing.”

Malik is currently working on his second solo album, which he claims is "a bit more organised" in comparison to 2016's 'Mind of Mine'.