Cheryl and Liam: what went wrong?

Couple announced their split last night

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Cheryl and Liam Payne have split up after more than two years together. Here is a timeline of their relationship…


The couple first meet when Payne auditions for The X Factor in Birmingham when he is just 14 and Cheryl is on the judging panel.

He gives a rendition of Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra and winks at Cheryl while he is singing.

Cheryl, who is 10 years his senior, tells him: “I like you, I think you’re really cute.”

He makes it to the judges’ houses on the series but does not make the final cut for the live shows.


Payne returns to The X Factor at the age of 16 after getting his GCSEs and performs Cry Me A River.

Cheryl, who is still a judge on the show, tells him: “You’ve definitely got it, whatever it is and I thought your voice was really powerful.”

He makes it through and is matched up with Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik to form a group called One Direction.

They end up in Cowell’s category and come third on the series, which was won by Matt Cardle.

August 2014:

Cheryl, who is married to restaurateur Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after a surprise wedding in Mustique, does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

She nominates three other celebrities to get a bucket of water tipped over their heads and chooses Piers Morgan, Nicola Roberts and Payne.

December 2015: 

Cheryl, who has now split with Fernandez-Versini, and Payne, who has split with girlfriend Sophia Smith, reunite when One Direction perform on The X Factor before going on hiatus.

The pair can be seen cuddling during an ad break in pictures that emerge weeks later.

February 2016:

Speculation about their relationship begins to swirl after Payne gets a hand tattoo of a rose that is remarkably similar to one Cheryl already has and reaches fever pitch when he posts a picture of a rose on Instagram captioned: “Happy Valentine’s Day baby.”

Happy Valentine’s Day baby …🌹😉😍😘

A post shared by Liam Payne (@liampayne) on

February 26 2016:

Payne changes his Instagram profile picture to one of the two of them.

March 2 2016:

The couple are finally Instagram-official as Payne shares a photo of them together.


A post shared by Liam Payne (@liampayne) on

A week later he posts a photo of her on International Women’s Day, saying she is his “favourite woman in the world”.

May 2016:

The couple make their first red carpet appearance together at Cannes and later share photos of themselves together on a private jet.

#cannes ✌🏼

A post shared by Liam Payne (@liampayne) on

November 2016:

The couple attend a Christmas carol concert in London, with Cheryl wearing a tight green dress that showcases a prominent baby bump but the pair do not confirm she is expecting a child.

February 2017:

Cheryl confirms she is pregnant in a L’Oreal advertising campaign in which she cradles her bump.

March 25 2017:

The couple announce she has given birth to a baby boy on Mother’s Day, when they both share a picture of the newborn being cradled by Payne.

She writes: “On Wednesday 22nd March Liam and I became parents to an incredibly beautiful, healthy baby boy, weighing 7lb 9 and looking like a dream.

“Although he still doesn’t have a name he is already stealing hearts.

“We are all madly in love and overwhelmingly happy with our little arrival.

“Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers around the world. A day that now has a different meaning to me forever.”

May 1 2017:

Reports emerge they have named their baby son Bear.

February 21 2018:

The pair attend the Brit Awards together and put on a very public display of affection in response to reports that they are going through problems.

Cheryl and Liam Payne
Cheryl and Liam Payne at the Brits (Ian West/PA)

June 8 2018:

Cheryl wishes Payne a happy first father’s day on Instagram.

She writes: “You are the most amazing daddy and the best example for our son.

“The way he looks at you says it all. Your relationship melts my heart. You are the centre of his world & We adore you.”

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July 1 2018:

The pair announce they have split up, with Cheryl writing on Twitter: “We are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways. It’s been a tough decision for us to make.

“We still have so much love for each other as a family. Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together.”

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