Directioners assemble, because never-before-seen footage of how One Direction was formed has just dropped. Thank you, benevolent kings at The X Factor.

It’s true nostalgia. Zayn Malik is wearing a fuck-off long chain. Liam Payne looks like he’s gone through gallons of heat protectant spray to perfectly straighten his side fringe. Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are both rocking hideously oversized beanies. Niall Horan is moonlighting as a student on work experience, with a collared shirt poking out of his jumper.

The X Factor released the clip to celebrate the boyband of yore’s 12th anniversary. It shows judges Simon CowellNicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh creating One Direction, like Victor Frankenstein building his cursed monster.

The judges are standing before a table covered in photos of young lads, all with a stonking set of pipes.

“Let’s do an imaginary boyband, instead of just saying no,” Nicole said.

Niall’s photo was the first to be selected, followed by Harry’s. When Louis (the judge, not the Tomlinson) picked up Harry’s photo they all practically creamed their jeans.

“Absolutely,” Simon said.

“We liked him,” Louis said.

Nicole taps Niall’s smiling head, gesturing for Louis to put Harry’s photo next to him.

“Yes, put him with him,” she said.

Photos of Harry Styles and Niall Horan on The X Factor
‘Ello, boys! Photo credit: YouTube / The X Factor UK

Suddenly, Louis’ (the Tomlinson, not the judge) photo appears on the pile.

“Yes!” Nicole said.

“They’re the cutest boyband ever! The little girls are going to love them!”

Methinks Directioners can thank Nicole for making their weird little dreams and unrequited crushes come true.

Photos of Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles and Niall Horan on The X Factor
The cutest boyband ever, indeed. Photo credit: YouTube / The X Factor UK / FremantleMedia

“They’re just too talented to get rid of and they have the right look and the right charisma onstage. I think they’ll be really great in a boyband together,” she said.

“They’re like little stars. You can’t get rid of little stars, you know? So you put them all together.”

Honestly, the girly has been spitting facts during the entire formation process. You really can’t get rid of little stars.

The trio collectively lost their shit again when they found Liam’s piccie in the pile and bickered over whether he should be a solo performer or join Harry, Louis and Niall.

“He thinks he’s better than anyone else,” Simon said.

Did Simon have a crystal ball during this formation process? Or even a Magic 8 Ball? He literally knew from day dot that Liam was going to be the worst member of 1D. We should have listened to him when we had the chance.

The judges added Zayn’s photo to the lineup and before you know it, the Build-A-Band process was complete: One Direction was born.

I genuinely can’t believe 1D formed 12 years ago; it means it’s been 11 years since the boys dropped “What Makes You Beautiful” and along with it, the most iconic opening lyric ever: “You’re insecure”.

Why would they say something so controversial yet so brave?