Gary Flockhart: Right of passage for One Direction

Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Mailik and Naill Horan in TriStar Pictures' "One Direction:This Is Us."''Pic: Comp
Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Mailik and Naill Horan in TriStar Pictures' "One Direction:This Is Us."''Pic: Comp
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TEEN pop idols, eh. They start out all squeaky clean, like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths, and then (shock, horror!) they grow up and start experimenting with the trappings of youth culture.

And the surprise is that people are surprised when they do.

I’m talking, of course, about One Direction here.

Yes, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware of the furore that started after a video shot by 1D’s Louis Tomlinson showed him and bandmate Zayn Malik seemingly smoking a spliff in the back of a car as they were being driven through Lima, Peru on their way to a gig.

“That’s just Zayn warming up before the show,” Tomlinson says in the video. “One very, very important factor to Zayn’s warm-up, of course, is Mary J [marijuana] herself.”

Predictably, the press waded into the band for setting a poor example.

One website reported instances of fans “ripping up, burning or selling tickets” for the band’s gigs in disgust.

Really? I didn’t notice too many empty seats during 1D’s 65,000 sell-out gig at Murrayfield on Tuesday.

Even as far back as when I was a teenager – yes, that far back! – pop idols whom parents naively thought were purer than driven snow were causing outrage when it turned out they were not.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating drug use here (just say no, kids!), but reports that 1D’s goose is cooked as a consequence of the incident are way off the mark.

If anything, their credibility will soar to new heights.

Countless teen idols have been linked with drug-use over the years, and it’s not harmed their careers any.

Well, maybe Justin Beiber, but he’s got more to worry about right now.