By Sarah Bull

Stay away! Caroline Flack and boyfriend Harry Styles were apparently warned to stay apart from each other on The X Factor last night

Caroline Flack and Harry Styles were forced to stay apart as they both appeared on The X Factor last night, because show bosses feared 'backlash' surrounding their relationship.

Xtra Factor host Flack, 32, and 17-year-old One Direction singer have caused controversy with their romance, and X Factor bosses were said to be concerned that their 'causing mischief' would lead to more comments.

A source told the Sunday People: 'Caroline and Harry are in the early stages of a romance and can't keep their hands off each other. They want to spend as much time as possible together and thought that being in the same TV studios on Saturday night would be a great way to see other other.

'But bosses took them both aside and warned them to stay apart. While they have no issue with Caroline's relationship with an ex-contestant, they fear the backlash which may arise if people see them or head that they are cuddling and canoodling backstage.'

Another insider added to the Sunday Mirror: 'Caroline and Harry are terribly mischievous when they are together and they needed to make sure things remained professional between them.

'Harry was on one side of the building and Caroline was away on the other side.'

And while guest performers usually appear on The Xtra Factor following their performance on the main show, One Direction were noticeably absent from the spin-off after collaborating with JLS on The X Factor.

Instead, Caroline introduced JLS as her 'favourite boyband' as she welcomed them to the sofa for a post-performance chat.

But while X Factor bosses are seemingly keen to keep Caroline and Harry apart on the ITV programme, the pair's romance is going from strength to strength regardless.

The pair are said to have enjoyed their first public date together on Friday night after a series of sleepovers, attending Coldplay's concert together at London's O2 Arena.

A source told the Sunday Mirror: 'They slipped into the gig quietly and had a great time. Both of them were raving about it afterwards and are completely smitten.'

Their public outing comes just days after Caroline attempted to defend her relationship with Harry in a magazine interview.

Super group: Harry (third from left) performed with One Direction and JLS

She said: 'I feel like I shouldn’t have to worry about what I do. But it’s a social thing that people aren’t accepting of big age gaps.'

Defending the 15 years between them, she told Now magazine: 'I keep thinking, "What have I done wrong?" But I haven’t done anything wrong.

'What’s hard for me to get my head around is people saying it’s disgusting. I don’t think it is.'

The pair first sparked speculation of a romance back in October, when they shared a kiss and were caught on camera flirting during the reality series spin-off show broadcast on ITV2.

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