The great philosophers of One Direction once said: “Goodbyes are bittersweet — but it’s not the end, I’ll see your face again.” Unfortunately for everyone who believed the fandom-wide rumors that the band would be reuniting for the series finale of The Late Late Show with James Corden, in this particular instance, that “Walking in the Wind” lyric is null and void.
“Nobody loves the boys more than us … but this story just isn’t true,” the Late Late Show shared on Twitter. “What is true is we’ve got an absolutely brilliant 2 hour finale planned to celebrate 8 years of #LateLateShow at 10pm on April 27th.”
The official debunking of the rumor, which stemmed from the frequency at which Corden has welcomed One Direction to his show both as a band and as solo artists, actually came earlier this week from Late Late Show co-executive producer Ben Winston. In response to a fan stating she was manifesting the reunion before the show ends, he tweeted: “I wish! Sadly not going to happen!”
In addition to being the co-creator of the Late Late Show‘s popular Carpool Karaoke segment, Winston worked extensively with One Direction on music videos and documentaries during their time together. He produced their 2013 feature film This is Us and directed the many first dates in the “Night Changes” music video, as well as “Best Song Ever,” “Story of my Life,” “Midnight Memories,” and “You and I.”
Winston is also the father of Harry Styles’ goddaughter, whose voice we hear wishing him goodnight at the start of “As It Was.” Styles has co-hosted the Late Late Show on a number of occasions, often appearing in week-long takeovers in support of his albums. Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Liam Payne — everyone except for Zayn Malik — have also appeared on the show for performances, skits, games, and more since One Direction’s unofficial split.
When the group’s hiatus began in 2016, the widespread understanding amongst their fans was that they would be returning in 18 months. As Tomlinson revealed in his new documentary All of Those Voices, even he didn’t realize they had actually reached the end. But the divide between each member has felt much smaller lately. Horan recently admitted that he often sends his former bandmates unreleased material for their opinion.
In February, when Styles accepted Album of the Year at the Brit Awards, he thanked each band member individually. “I want to thank Niall, Louis, Liam, and Zayn, I wouldn’t be here without you, either,” he said. “Thank you so much. And I’m really, really grateful for this.”
A One Direction reunion has seemed more plausible in the last four months than it has in over eight years. Still, their comeback will likely be a grand return on their own terms — not an aside in a two-hour farewell special.