Zayn Malik is “angry and upset” an American TV host questioned whether he is using drugs.

The One Direction singer was meant to appear on US morning programme The Today Show Monday, but he was unable to join bandmates Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan during the interview due to illness.

Today Show host Matt Lauer quizzed the pop stars on Zayn’s absence, noting there were “rumours of substance abuse”, and the singer is not happy the journalist ventured into this topic this on live television.

“I’m really angry and upset by what was said on The Today Show. I was really ill at the weekend, that’s why I couldn’t fly to America,” Zayn told British newspaper The Sun.

When Liam told anchor Matt that bandmate Zayn was suffering from a “tummy bug”, the journalist didn’t seem satisfied with the answer and pushed the inquiry further.

“There has been a lot of action on social media about him,” The Today Show star said. ‘Is it something more serious than just a minor illness? There have been rumours of substance abuse: what's going on?”

In response, Liam reaffirmed Zayn was at home with “a stomach bug”, claiming his bandmate “needs to rest”.

Matt’s line of questioning was received by boos from One Direction fans in the audience.

And Zayn tells The Sun he is focused on recuperating, because he wants to rejoin his colleagues on the road as the band promotes their new album, Four.

“As soon as I’m feeling better I’m going to join the guys and carry on with the promotion for the album,” the singer said.

“I was gutted to have to miss album release day. But I’m going to be back as soon as I can.”

One Direction was rocked by a drugs scandal earlier this year, when Louis and Zayn were captured on camera smoking what appeared to be marijuana.