EXCLUSIVE: 'We see each other when we can'… Leona Lewis opens up on romance rumours with One Direction's Liam Payne
15:02 GMT, 6 November 2012
They've been linked together romantically since Liam Payne split from his long-term girlfriend in September.
And Leona Lewis has now opened up about her rumoured relationship with the One Direction hunk, admitting the pair have a 'shared bond' thanks to their experiences on The X Factor.
Speaking at the Marmite Oxford Street Christmas Lights switch-on on Monday night, she exclusively told MailOnline: 'We're friends. We see each other whenever we can, but he's really busy and so am I.
Budding romance One Direction's Liam Payne and Leona Lewis were first linked to each other at the end of September
'We've got a shared bond because of The X Factor. I always forget they were even on the show!'
The pop couple were first linked when they were said to have enjoyed two nights out together, and the 19-year-old star has made no secret of admitting he had a 'crush' on the Trouble singer.
Liam recently said: 'I do have a crush on Leona, she's hot! I have met her. She's hot. I haven't eaten dinner with her though.'
But Leona dismissed reports suggesting the rumoured couple would be spending the festive period together, explaining that she is planning a family Christmas.
'Shared bond': The 27-year-old singer explained she and Liam are 'friends' and see each other when they can
She added: 'I'll be spending Christmas in either London or Wales with my family. We always have a big family Christmas and I'm really looking forward to it.'
The 27-year-old beauty also spoke out about the other man in her life, X Factor boss Simon Cowell, admitting the 53-year-old music mogul is a far cry from his Mr Nasty television persona.
Leona told MailOnline: 'I see him every so often. He's lovely, we've become friends. He's very honest and that's why people say he's mean, he doesn't candy-coat anything. He's really funny, smart and charming.'
Although she has an incredible figure, which she showcased at the Marmite Christmas Lights switch-on in a black sequinned bustier and stylish lime green coat, the X Factor winner admitted she avoids dieting and stays in shape by going to Bikram yoga classes whenever she can.
Festive: Leona performed a set of her tracks at the Marmite Oxford Street Christmas Lights switch-on on Monday night
She said: 'I'm quite curvy and I just try and exercise whenever I can. I don't do anything hardcore as I'm just not that dedicated. I like to do Bikram yoga a lot, the first few are so hard but after a while you get used to it.
'I try not to diet because it never really works for me, if I tell myself I can't eat something then I tend to want to eat everything in sight.'
Meanwhile, Leona explained while going on tour can be a 'lonely' experience, she uses Skype to keep in contact with her nearest and dearest – which will no doubt help things should she and Liam decide to embark on a long-distance relationship.
The star added to MailOnline: 'It can get lonely sometimes because when you're on tour. Sometimes you just you want to see your friends and family and they're not just down the road.
'But there are so many ways to stay in communication, like Skype, so I try to do that as much as possible. But of course there are times when you feel a bit homesick.'
One Direction: Liam with his bandmates, (L-R) Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson