One Direction hailed their New York gig on Monday (03.12.12) as the ''best night of their lives''.

The British boy band - Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson - performed their biggest-ever show at the city's Madison Square Garden and were delighted to perform for 20,000 fans.

Niall, 19, told the crowd: ''This is the best night of our lives. You guys have travelled from all around the world and we cannot believe what has happened here tonight. Thank you so much.''

The quintet shot to fame after coming third on UK TV talent show 'The X Factor' in 2010 and admitted on stage they can't believe how much their lives have changed since then.

Zayn, 19, said: ''I'm overwhelmed. I'm from a small town in Bradford. Things like this don't happen to people like me. I owe it all to you.''

Louis, 20, added: ''It's hard to comprehend how far we have come.''

Liam, 19, gushed: ''I see a Swedish flag and Brazilian flag. It's just amazing.''

The group were joined on stage by Ed Sheeran for their latest single 'Littlest Things', which the 'A Team' musician wrote, and wrapped their 18-song set - which included hits 'Live While We're Young' and 'One Thing' and a cover of Wheatus' 'Teenage Dirtbag' - with breakthrough track 'What Makes You Beautiful'.

As they left the stage, 18-year-old Harry told the crowd: ''I have never been so proud.''