He famously first encountered his future girlfriend when he auditioned for the The X Factor as a fresh-faced 14-year-old.Nine years later, Liam Payne is dating former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl and they are expecting a baby together.Now the One Direction star has broken his silence over his relationship with Cheryl to confirm what many suspected: she was his teenage crush when they first met in 2008. But he had much better things to say about pop star Justin Bieber, who has often fallen foul of the media over his handling of fame. Payne added: “She is a wonderful, wonderful person and it’s amazing to have someone who can relate to so much of things – someone who’s taken greater steps than me.”Her solo career was amazing. She’s been in the industry for 14 years now. She fully supports me.”We’re super happy. It’s a very personal, precious time for us. I’m still learning. I’m only 23.”Last month, Cheryl showed off a prominent baby bump at a Prince’s Trust event. Payne also shared that he and his bandmates once angered US President Donald Trump before he came to power because they refused to get out of bed for his daughter.He said: “Donald Trump actually kicked us out of his hotel once. You wouldn’t believe it. It was about [meeting] his daughter.”He phoned up our manager and we were asleep. He said, ‘Well, wake them up’ and I was like ‘No’ and then he wouldn’t let us use the underground garage.”Obviously in New York we can’t really go outside. New York is ruthless for us. So he was like, ‘OK, then I don’t want you in my hotel.’ So we had to leave.” “I like you, I think you’re really cute,” Cheryl told the aspiring young singer afterwards. “I think you’ve got charisma: I saw you giving us that cheeky little wink.”Payne did not make it to the live shows that year, but returned to try once more in 2010 – and the rest, for One Direction fans, is history. I like you, I think you’re really cute. I think you’ve got charismawhat Cheryl told Liam Payne in 2008 Speaking for the first time about their romance, Payne, now 23, said that Cheryl was his “dream girl” when he was younger.”In a non-cliche way, it’s weird waking up every day and literally living out your dream,” Payne told Rollacoaster magazine. “This is the thing. You wake up in the most beautiful places.”Obviously I have the most beautiful girlfriend in the world and she’s absolutely amazing. She’s been my dream girl since I was younger. She’s so ace.”He first met 33-year-old Cheryl when he auditioned in front of her for The X Factor when she was 24 and married at the time to footballer Ashley Cole.Payne serenaded her and the other judges with his rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon – winking at his future girlfriend halfway through. Payne and Cheryl first began dating last year following her separation from her former husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini.The couple are now dating and expecting a baby together, although neither of them has spoken about their romance before. Cheryl changed her birth surname Tweedy to Cole when she married Ashley Cole in 2006 and then became Cheryl Fernandez-Versini following her marriage to Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini in 2014.The pair were granted a decree nisi in October in their divorce proceedings. She now goes by the mononym Cheryl. Cheryl shows off her baby bump at Prince’s Trust eventCredit:L’Oreal Payne said: “He’s a great guy – inside there’s a really good heart. I said, ‘Look, the difference between me and you is I had four different boys going through the same thing to look to.’ He didn’t have that.”I said to him, ‘Take my number and any time you want a chat, let me know as I’m here and I understand exactly what you’re going through and I understand your world.’ He needs somebody like that and in that position.” Cheryl and Liam Payne pictured in London last NovemberCredit:Beretta/Sims/REX/Shutterstock Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.