In some respects, Sam Frears is very fortunate. Sam - the son of film director Stephen Frears - is popular, has a wide circle of friends, including the writer Alan Bennett, is bright, ambitious, has a sharp sense of humour and no money worries.
How serious do classical musicians have to be? The young American pianist Jonathan Biss has been proving that sophisticated artistry and off-the-wall humour are in no way mutually exclusive. A glance at his website quickly shows that his tale has an unusual twist.
'I feel I have done a public service in portraying my horror of the Jewish burial grounds that ring the M25," says artist Corinne Pearlman. She is talking about of her comic, Losing the Plot, which, over two delicately drawn pages, highlights the jarring proximity of several Jewish cemeteries to one of Europe's busiest motorways.
About halfway through last night's second episode of Simon Sebag-Montefiore's frantic journey through the history of Jerusalem, I began to feel both dizzy and nauseous.
Sebag-Montefiore - author of a best-selling history of the holy city - had argued that its bloody history was "the best argument against religion ever invented". But that was not what caused my momentary discomfort.
The House of Silk, the new Sherlock Holmes novel by Anthony Horowitz, could be sub-titled "The Mystery of the Vanishing Novelist". For Horowitz's aim was "to be completely true to Arthur Conan Doyle - immerse myself in his world and be invisible in it."
'I believe that energy has to be used to get more energy," says Bernard Kops. And his is a remarkable energy. He has written more than 40 plays for television, stage and radio, nine novels, seven volumes of poetry and two autobiographies.