Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik quit One Direction in MarchIan Gavan/Getty

Stephen Hawking might be best known as a world-renowned astrophysicist but it looks like when he isn't busy encouraging humanity to colonise other planets, he is comforting heartbroken Directioners.

Speaking at Sydney Opera House via holographic projection, the Cambridge University-based scientist and professor veered off his rousing lecture, in which he touched on topics including living with ALS, his portrayal in the Academy award-winning film The Theory Of Everything and space exploration, to discuss Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction.

In March, scores of One Direction fans were left distraught after Zayn Malik dramatically quit the boyband, hours after bowing out of the Asian leg of the world tour citing stress-related health issues.

He revealed in a departing statement that he wanted to feel like a "normal 22-year-old" and had grown tired of 1D's fame.

"I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight," he said.

When asked what he thought would be the cosmological effect of Malik leaving One Direction, Hawking provided a surprisingly enlightening response, advising young girls to pay close attention to theoretical physics.

"Finally, a question about something important," he quipped as fellow physicist Paul Davies and his daughter and science communicator Lucy Hawking were live on stage in Sydney. "My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics, because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes."

"It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe," he continued. "And in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction."

Hawking also admitted that although he was anxious about The Theory Of Everything, because it was based on a book by his ex-wife Jane Wilde, he was pleased with the outcome.

"It was surprisingly honest about our marriage," he said. "It was as close as I'll ever get to travelling back in time."