During the pre-recorded concert, the pop superstar took a question from Hollywood actress Emma Thompson, who asked whether there was anyone in her past who had supported her, inspired her or protected her from life’s trials and tribulations.
In response, Adele opened up about the impact Ms. McDonald, her English teacher at Chestnut Grove Academy, had had on her.
The London-born singer shared: “I had a teacher at (south London high school) Chestnut Grove, who taught me English. That was Miss McDonald… She got me really into English literature. Like, I’ve always been obsessed with English and obviously now I write lyrics.”
“She was so bloody cool. So engaging,” Adele added, recalling that McDonald often wore sequins and gold bracelets. “She really made us care, and we knew that she cared about us.”
Thompson then revealed that McDonald, whom Adele hadn’t seen in 20 years, was in the audience. It was time for the singer, who is used to surprising fans at her concerts, to be left stunned.
In the clip shared on ITV’s Twitter account from the highly anticipated televised UK concert special, Adele embraced her former mentor after she was brought on stage.
“I’m so proud of you,” McDonald said as Adele cried tears of joy.
During their exchange, the “Easy On Me” hitmaker told McDonald: “You really did change my life.”
“Now, I’ve got to get my whole face re-done,” the 33-year-old star joked while wiping away tears. She then called on host Alan Carr to step in and entertain the audience with a song while she stepped away to regain her composure
After the special aired, Adele took to Twitter to share her excitement at the reunion.
“Home Sweet Home. I’ve always dreamt of doing An Audience With…” she wrote alongside a series of pictures from the TV special, adding: “There was so much love in the room for each other, it felt like such a gig! Everyone was raucous and bang up for it! And my teacher Ms McDonald was there, it was just heaven.”
The project, which focuses on Adele’s healing process following her divorce from Simon Konecki, has garnered widespread acclaim from music critics.