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Cheryl and Liam Payne: see the moment they first met on The X Factor

by Chloe Best

Cheryl and Liam Payne are parents to a bouncing baby boy - but when they first met nearly nine years ago, nobody would have believed that parenthood would be in their future! A fresh-faced Liam looks utterly in awe of the sexy X Factor judge in the amazing video below. And it appears the couple, who are now living together in the One Direction hunk's Surrey mansion, struck up an instant rapport when they first met over eight years ago.

The pair initially met when Liam auditioned for The X Factor in 2008, where Cheryl was acting as a judge. Though he was just 14 at the time, the confident contestant made his feelings for Cheryl clear when he winked at her during his rendition of Fly Me to the Moon.

Although Simon Cowell wasn't instantly won over by Liam's performance, Cheryl had high praise for the teenager, telling him: "I like you, I think you're really cute. I think you've got charisma and you gave us that cheeky little wink." Liam reached the boot camp stage of the competition before he was voted off by his mentor Simon. However he was undeterred and auditioned again in 2010 when he was 16, when Cheryl was once again on the judging panel alongside Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue.

After being wowed by his rendition of Cry Me A River, Cheryl voted Liam straight through to the next round of the competition.

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Cheryl and Liam first met in 2008

"You've definitely got it, whatever 'it' is, you've got it," she said. "I thought your voice was really, really powerful."

Liam went on to be placed into the boy band One Direction along with fellow contestants Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson, and he and Cheryl have continued to run in the same circles ever since.

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The couple are rumoured to be expecting their first child together

Both signed to the same management company, they are believed to have struck up a romance in December 2015, following Cheryl's secret split from husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini. Now with Cheryl's divorce behind them and their happy baby news this week, it appears the couple are ready to move on and enjoy their lives together.