Liam Payne Compares ‘X Factor’ Audition for Ex Cheryl Cole to ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Liam Payne doesn’t enjoy watching himself — especially when his ex-girlfriend is involved. In a segment for Esquire magazine, the singer, 26, watched multiple old videos of himself on TV, including his first audition for The X Factor in 2008.

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“Let’s address the elephant in the room,” the former One Direction star says while watching the audition from when he was only 14 years old. “Obviously, the future mother of my son is sitting in that chair. This is now an episode of How I Met Your Mother, so that’s enough of that I think.”

Payne is referring to then-judge Cheryl Cole, who he began dating in 2016. The “Fight for This Love” singer, 36, and Payne welcomed a son, Bear Payne, in 2017. Although the pair split shortly after, they have been coparenting ever since.

Liam Payne Compares X-Factor Audition for Ex Cheryl Cole to How I Met Your Mother
Liam Payne and Cheryl Cole Brian J Ritchie/Hotsauce/Shutterstock; David Fisher/Shutterstock

“As a dad, I think one of the hardest parts at the start of it all is to feel as involved as possible,” the “Strip That Down” singer told Us Weekly exclusively in May 2019. “One of my biggest tips I would say is cooking, because if you’re cooking and you’re looking after her and she’s looking after [your kid], then you’re looking after everybody. And you want to feel like that part of the unit … so cooking was always a really big thing for me at the start.”

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In March 2020, Payne shared a tribute to Cole, as well as his own mother, via Instagram on U.K. Mother’s Day.

“Double special day today thanks to 2 very special ladies and a very special little man,” he wrote at the time. “Happy Mother’s Day mum and Cheryl you two are the most amazing mothers Bear and I could have asked for, thanks for raising me right and thank you Cheryl for showing my son all the love in the world.”

Liam Payne Compares X-Factor Audition for Ex Cheryl Cole to How I Met Your Mother 2
Cheryl Cole and Liam Payne at the 2018 Brit Awards. David Fisher/Shutterstock

In December 2019, he also shared that the exes celebrate the holidays together for their son.

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“I think it’s the first time he really gets Christmas now,” he told ITV at the time. “I want to see if he actually gets unwrapping presents this year though, because otherwise, it’ll just be Cheryl by the tree again. I can really remember it from last year. She wrapped them all up and then unwrapped them and I just sat there going, ‘Right, what is this?’”

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