Liam Payne’s cousin has slammed reports the One Direction star’s relationship with Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is a ‘showmance’.

Liam and Cheryl set tongues wagging earlier this year (16) when they went public with their fling, with many commenting on the 10-year age gap. However Cheryl, 32, and 22-year-old Liam haven’t let it get them down, and are still enjoying their romance.

“I don’t think their relationship is for publicity just because they’ve been seen holding hands and going to restaurants - unless they’re having fun with the media and fooling everyone, which would actually be quite funny,” Liam’s cousin Ross Harris smiled to Britain’s New magazine. “I suppose only time will tell. They’ll probably be married in a few weeks; it’s that kind of vibe.”

Ross is a singer himself, previously appearing on the UK version of The Voice. He can see why Liam fell for Cheryl, but also understands why the difference in age has raised eyebrows.

Prior to dating Liam, The X Factor judge Cheryl was married to second husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini. The former Girls Aloud singer has yet to comment on the breakdown of her marriage.

“I think she’s every young man’s type,” Ross remarked. “They obviously know each other from The X Factor (the show One Direction formed on). The age different is a little bit weird but if it works, it works. It’s quite funny that the other One Direction guys are dating really young models and he’s gone for the mature relationship – but she still looks like a model. He’s done well. She’s obviously very famous and very nice-looking.”