Former Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall is convinced One Direction are on the road to becoming the next Beatles, insisting the revered rockers also started out as a "boyband".

The British crooner is a big fan of the young pop stars, and he is adamant they have a long career in front of them if they can start writing more of their own songs.

He tells Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper, "I rather like One Direction, I think they're good. People can be snobby and say they don't write their own songs, but it's the pop industry. When the Beatles first started they were a boyband and then, through their writing, they merged into something else. So who knows what's going to happen for One Direction."