cheryl liam payne
Liam Payne (R) and partner Cheryl pose on the red carpet on arrival for the BRIT Awards 2018 Getty

Cheryl and Liam Payne reportedly went their separate ways after they put up a loved-up display at the 2018 Brit Awards held on 21 February at the O2 Arena in London.

According to The Sun, the Girls Aloud singer headed to their Surrey mansion while Payne stayed in a budget hotel near Heathrow. The news further fuels speculation that the couple's relationship is strained and that they are on the verge of splitting up.

A music source revealed to the British outlet: "Despite their over-the-top show of affection they went their separate ways. Cheryl headed home to their family home, alone, and Liam spent the night at a dingy airport hotel."

Sources close to the former One Direction singer revealed that early work commitments in the capital meant he had to stay in hotels on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Again on Thursday, instead of heading back to the couple's home in Surrey to spend time with his 11-month-old son Bear, Liam flew to Miami to shoot a new music video.

A post shared by Liam Payne (@liampayne) on

The Sun has also alleged that the couple's very loving PDA appearance was a ploy to stop the split rumours. The couple cuddled up on the red carpet before chatting with host Jack Whitehall on television, where Cheryl hinted they had a wild sex life.

A source has branded the whole thing a "stunt", and told the publication: "Cheryl and Liam's friends say things aren't good between them and have made it clear their relationship will soon end."

"But with a single to promote, Liam was not going to miss the opportunity, and having Cheryl with him gives him even more limelight," the insider continued.

"They are trying to work things out and want to be together for their son Bear's first birthday next month. But things are very strained."

However, the mother-of-one took to Twitter to trash allegations that it was all a stunt and wrote: "Oh stop no one cares who's been speculatively arguing or not in their relationships use your platform to put something productive in your columns I opened a centre this week that could help thousands of youth!!!!...."

"Oh and your 'stunt' theories are just ludicrous and a bit weird," she added.