George Clooney was moved to tears when his wife Amal gave an emotional speech at the American Film Institute's gala tribute where he was awarded a lifetime achievement award.

The human rights lawyer opened her speech by admitting she is "actually quite nervous" about public speaking, saying "it’s somehow easier for me to address a court on behalf of a detainee then for me to speak publicly as I am doing for the first time tonight about my husband."

She went on to detail her husband's generosity and sense of gentlemanliness, before speaking about meeting him for the first time and falling deeply in love, as well as his relationship with their children, one-year-old twins Ella and Alexander.

Amal and George Clooney at the gala tribute where he received a lifetime achievement award

"I met George when I was 35 and starting to become quite resigned to the idea that I was getting to be a spinster. Then we met and started hiding out in my London flat and very soon it felt like no matter what happened I would never want to be with anyone else. I couldn’t sleep when we were apart", she said.

"And I am told I would display a particular grin and head tilt when reading his text messages or the letters that he would hide in my bag. Five years later none of that has changed. He is the person who has my complete admiration and also the person whose smile makes me melt every time."

Amal continued: "My love, what I have found with you is the great love that I always hoped existed and seeing you with our children Ella and Alexander is the greatest joy in my life. You fill our home with laughter and happiness and that is even before the children have worked out that dada is actually Batman, a talking fox and friends with Mary Poppins.

"I am so proud of you my love. Congratulations on this great honor you are receiving tonight. I am proud of you but I also know that when our children find out not only what you have done but who you are they will be so proud of you too."

Amal Clooney says she is "so proud" of husband George as he collects lifetimes achievement award

The couple tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at the Aman Canal Grande luxury resort in Venice, Italy in 2014.