SOMEONE needs to remind ITV of that old adage: “Start as you mean to go on.”

There they were, on Wednesday night, setting James Corden on fire. Only to go and undo all that good work moments later by extinguishing him.

So began a star-studded but weird old Brit Awards night, live from the O2 Arena, which immediately took a second bizarre turn when the host leaped to the podium for a selfie with the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

If only he’d have been a little more patient storming the stage and interrupting proceedings. Katy Perry was waiting in the wings to sing.

But it was one of those missed opportunities ceremonies, whose most outlandish moment was Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner deliberately dropping a microphone but offering to be invoiced for it.

Rock ‘n’ indeed roll.

David Bowie sent Kate Moss to announce his stance on Scottish independence.

One Direction won a made-up award, Global Success, while Harry Styles was in the loo, presumably grabbing a granny.

Cesc Fabregas apologised for Barcelona being infinitely better than Man City.

Jimmy Carr died a worse death than on 10 O’Clock Live.

Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens, on ITV2’s build-up show, gave the line of the night, to Keith Lemon: “You’re always here at The Brits. Why?” Ruddy good question.

Then he went and blew it on the backstage after party, telling the great Nile Rodgers: “We’re going to have to cut it short.”

What with there being only 56 minutes of the programme left, and East 17’s Tony Mortimer waiting to sing Stay Another Day to Corden, who clearly didn’t give an Arctic monkey’s on his fifth and final year as host.

He called the audience “gang”, went to an ad break with: “that’s blockbusters”, disturbingly caressed Critics’ Choice Sam Smith’s cheek, all but groomed One Direction, snogged Nick Grimshaw, again and swore twice in succession 17 seconds after the 9pm watershed to describe Beyonce’s performance.

Very big and clever of him.

Corden also failed to utilise the additional 15 minutes ITV had encroached into News At Ten’s slot to shut up the night’s big winner mid-flow but he was on top fawning form with: “The incredible Katy Perry. The brilliant Lily Allen. T

“The stunningly beautiful Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.”

It was almost as bad as his fake chummy routine with Bruno Mars – “I love you!” I love you too, James! – and Pharrell, who he interviewed while wearing the singer’s hat, looking like a boy Scout earning his Unwelcome Tit At The Table badge.

Alcohol was required, naturally.

And willing volunteer Liam Payne, from One Direction, had downed several by the time they collected Best Video gong: “I want to fangle the thanks on Twitter.”

Well then fangle away, Liam. Everyone who is anyone is here to listen.

Except, that is, David Bowie who, as Noel Gallagher very eloquently put it, is too cool for the Brits.

“He doesn’t do this s***,” he said.

The question is who will do it next year, as host?

Well, the way Corden verbally pummelled Kylie into admitting she had a new album and tour, it seems a no-brainer.

Cometh the hour, cometh the Dermot O’Leary.

And goneth the me. Bowie, I’m with you.

This week's Couch Potato Spudulikes...

TV's best cop show Line of Duty.

Emily Bishop's Breaking Bad boxset addiction, on Corrie.

Sochi's ski-cross carnage.

Sky News' Richard Suchet employing the Alan Partridge technique interviewing Laura Mvula: "I don't want to open any old wounds but you were nominated for a Mercury Prize which you didn't win."

BBC3's Bafta Red Carpet subtitles mocking Leonardo DiCaprio for disappearing up his own luvvie backside, turning: "In a non-didactic way, the film explores the..." blah blah blah, into: "In a non-die dabbing particular way..."

The Jeremy Kyle Show's Valentine's Day theme: "You'll only see your children when you tell your fiancee to stay away." And they say romance is dead.

And Daybreak's Kate Garraway after David Bowie won The Brits' Best

Male: "Those 1D boys are celebrating two Brits. But the surprise winner of the night was a golden oldie."

So Harry Styles got lucky, huh?

This week's Couch Potato Spuduhates...

BBC spending £15 million rebuilding EastEnders' set, instead of a fiver demolishing it.

Auntie sending two teams to the Bafta Red Carpet - BBC3 and BBC News.

Bafta host Stephen Fry's two-hour Hollywood suck-up.

ITV2 shoe-horning ITV2's Mark Wright into both The Big Reunion and The Brits: Backstage for no obvious reason.

BBC2 wielding the axe over House of Fools. (Don't do it!)

BBC3 spending an hour failing to answer the question Is Amanda Knox Guilty?

And C5 assuming The Big British Immigration Row required Katie Hopkins, Vanessa Feltz, Luisa Zissman, Adam Rickitt, Paula Hamilton and Nancy Dell'Olio who got to the nub of the issue: "Can you imagine Britain without me?"

How can I put this, Nancy? Yep.