London: Media mogul Simon Cowell has apologised for mocking former One Direction member Zayn Malik during an awards ceremony.
The music mogul was handed the Music Industry Trusts Award in London by Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, and after accepting the gong, Simon quipped, "Who misses Zayn?"
He was then targeted by angry One Direction fans, and Cowell was forced to apologise. He later admitted that he had been "hammered" while making the speech.
The "X Factor" judge said, "I just kind of thought, when I was standing on stage with them, that they were back to being five and I saw myself being a part of One Direction for a moment.
"That's when I made that quip, 'Who needs Zayn?' which of course backfired hugely. So I apologise to any Zayn fans out there - it was meant as a joke."
Malik has yet to comment on the incident.