One Direction given a very warm welcome from their delighted fans as they fly home to the UK

We've missed you so much! One Direction given a very warm welcome from their delighted fans as they fly home to the UK

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 24 April 2012

They've only been out of the country for a few weeks but to their fans, that might as well have been years.

So it's not wonder that One Direction's devoted following were there to greet them with open arms, tears and screams as the boys arrived back on their home turf today.

The boy band jetted into London this afternoon from Auckland, the last stop on the their whirlwind promotional tour of the US, Australia and New Zealand.

It's good to be home! One Direction's Harry Styles is greeted by fans as he and the boy band arrive back to the UK from New Zealand

It's good to be home! One Direction's Harry Styles is greeted by fans as he and the boy band arrive back to the UK from New Zealand

And they were welcomed by their faithful fans who had converged onto Heathrow Airport to greet them off their flight.

The
boys were only too happy to stop and pose for photos and chat and sign
autographs despite their very long-haul flight across the world.

And
they looked almost relieved to be home in the arms of the fans that
have been there since they first formed on the X Factor in 2010.

We've missed you! Harry and bandmate Louis Tomlinson hug and chat to fans outside Heathrow Airport

We've missed you! Harry and bandmate Louis Tomlinson hug and chat to fans outside Heathrow Airport

Laden down with duty-free bags, the
boys couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces as they got swept up in
the excitement of being back at home.

And Niall Horan took to his Twitter page ands wrote: 'Yessss! Back in london! Sleep for the next week, don't wana see a sole.'

However,
his jetlag was soon forgotten with the prospect of watching the
Barcelona vs Chelsea Champions League semi-final, which Chelsea won 3-2
on aggregate.

There's no place like home: Despite their exciting trip around the world, a relaxed and casual-looking Louis looked happy to be back in England again

There's no place like home: Despite their exciting trip around the world, a relaxed and casual-looking Louis looked happy to be back in England again

Loved wherever you go: Louis and Harry looked a little overwhelmed by their airport welcome committee

Loved wherever you go: Louis and Harry looked a little overwhelmed by their airport welcome committee

Loved wherever you go: Louis and Harry looked a little overwhelmed by their airport welcome committee

And he revealed that he had spoken to TV presenter friend Christine Bleakley, whose fianc Frank Lampard plays for Chelsea.

Niall added: 'hahaha just spoke to @clbleakley never heard screams like it haha.'

And they had certainly prepared for
their time away from home, especially if their luggage trolley which was
piled high with suitcases were anything to go by.

Say cheese! A delighted fan managed to grab Niall Horan for a snap as others eagerly waited their turn behind her

Say cheese! A delighted fan managed to grab Niall Horan for a snap as others eagerly waited their turn behind her

So what have you been doing while we've been away Louis chatted to one fan who looked as though she couldn't believe her luck that she was next to her idol

So what have you been doing while we've been away Louis chatted to one fan who looked as though she couldn't believe her luck that she was next to her idol

The boys flew out to America at the beginning of March for a promotional tour across the country and while they were there, they made history as the first UK group to debut at No.1 on the BillBoard chart with their album Up All Night.

They also spent time in New York
where they appeared on various TV shows before heading to Los Angeles to
record some new material.

They also had to turn down an
invitation to the White House over Easter as they had to travel to Australia where their popularity has soared.

Shouldn't you be in school Two fans grabbed Liam Payne for a snap

Shouldn't you be in school Two fans grabbed Liam Payne for a snap

Scenes
of mass hysteria greeted them everywhere as they made appearances on TV
and radio shows, sending their fans Down Under into a frenzy.

No
doubt the boys will be looking forward to some time with their friends
and family again but their British fans better make the most of them
while they can.

The band
are back off to America next month for a 24-date tour of the country,
starting in Fairfax, Virginia on May 24 and finishing in Sunrise,
Florida on July 1.

Not a band to travel light: This was one of two trolleys laden down with the lads' luggage as they landed at Heathrow

Not a band to travel light: This was one of two trolleys laden down with the lads' luggage as they landed at Heathrow