adele performing


‘She really made us care’: Adele reunites with the English teacher who inspired her

The reunion prompted people to reminisce on the teachers and people who influenced them.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 22, 2021   Updated on Nov 22, 2021, 1:37 pm CST

Most of us have at least one person whose presence in our lives influenced what came after, but we don’t often have a chance to thank them. But for Adele, that moment finally arrived after her latest concert gave her a tearful reunion with the person who inspired her.

Before the release of 30, one of the most anticipated albums of the year, CBS aired Adele One Night Only, a special that included an interview with Oprah Winfrey and a concert with numerous famous faces in the audience, in the U.S. An Audience With Adele, which was filmed on the eve of 30’s release and aired on ITV on Sunday, was the U.K.’s version of the event.  

At one point during the concert, Adele is asked by actor Emma Thompson which person influenced her when she was younger. Adele had an answer: Miss McDonald, an English teacher who Adele only knew for a year and left her school when she was in year 8.

“It was just one year, but she got me really into literature,” Adele said. “Like, I’ve always been obsessed with English, and obviously, now I write lyrics. But she also did street dance. I was too scared to join, but in the canteen, they used to do these dances. But yeah, she just, she was so bloody cool. So engaging. She really made us care and we knew she cared about us.”

Immediately following her response, Thompson revealed that Miss McDonald was the audience. Adele, who wasn’t able to stay in touch with the teacher who inspired her, seemed genuinely shocked to see her teacher in the audience and burst into tears.

Was there some planning to make this reunion happen? Probably. Thompson asked the question that would prompt the reunion, McDonald was in the audience, and ITV ultimately posted the clip on Twitter where people outside of the U.K. could also view it, helping the clip instantly go viral.

But whether or not the reunion was completely staged or only partially so doesn’t really matter. What it does is present an incredibly relatable scenario, prompting viewers and fans alike to reminisce on the teachers and people who helped influence them.

And, to be expected, a whole lot of tears and emotions.

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*First Published: Nov 22, 2021, 1:26 pm CST