Stanley Tucci jokingly told Miranda Richardson he would "leave his wife" for her as he presented the British actress with an achievement award in London on Sunday (18Jan15).

The Hunger Games star, who is married to Emily Blunt's sister Felicity, attended the London Critics' Circle Film Awards at the May Fair Hotel to hand his friend the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, and in his lengthy tribute, Tucci recalled that he first developed a crush on the Harry Potter actress when she starred in 1992 period drama Enchanted April.

He said, "When Miranda Richardson first appeared on the screen, I must say my heart beat even more rapidly, then it skipped a beat and then I think it actually stopped. Not only was she beautiful but she was funny, charming and obviously profoundly talented. "

Tucci told the audience how starstruck he was they first met in a New York restaurant five years ago, adding, "I was beside myself with nervousness and all I wanted to do was get back to my martini in the hopes that it would squelch the horrible anxiety attack I was experiencing having met someone I so admired, many times I had secretly imagined spending the rest of my life with."

He concluded, "So Miranda, I'm very flattered to be asked to present this well-deserved award to you. Your intelligence, curiosity, avant-garde sense of aesthetic, your extraordinary range, profound talent and devotion as a friend make me so honoured and happy to know you. How grateful am I that I was introduced to you in a French bistro off the Great White Way half a decade ago... I'm leaving my wife for you. "

Upon accepting her award, Richardson said, "Just a word about Stanley - I seem to remember when you were living opposite me that you actually told me how often seeing me come out of my house coincided with you being in the shower. I just want to apologise now for missing every single time that happened, particularly as you told me you were standing in the window so I would notice you. I do apologise... "

Boyhood was the top winner of the night, picking up three prizes for Film of the Year, Best Director for Richard Linklater and Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette.