A bookmaker has suspended betting on One Direction splitting up amid speculation that Harry Styles is preparing to embark on a solo career.

The band features Bradford pop star Zayn Malik, who was listed earlier this year as one of the wealthiest young stars in the music world with a fortune estimated at £14 million.

But Coral has been forced to close the market on the rumoured split up after punters took a "major gamble" over the weekend on the world's biggest boy band going their separate ways.

Before betting was suspended, the firm offered odds of even money on the five-piece calling it quits, while Styles was the 2/1 favourite to be the first member to leave.

The odds on any band member releasing solo material this year were 5/1.

A Coral spokesman said: "A rush of shrewd bets on One Direction splitting up raised the alarm and forced us to close betting until further notice.

"There's no smoke without fire and these bets indicate that the rumours are true."