Two days before interviewing Vidal Sassoon, news arrives that he has cancelled all but our meeting to attend the funeral of a friend and fellow hairdresser, Joshua Galvin. I'm flattered, of course. But will the man who revolutionised hairdressing in the Swinging Sixties, and whose life is now the subject of an entertaining new documentary and a colourful memoir be in the mood for a conversation?
People tend to recognise Adam Goldberg's face before his name. He is the actor most remembered for playing the Jewish soldier Private Mellish in Saving Private Ryan and Eddie Meneuk, Chandler's scene-stealing, reality-challenged roommate, in Friends.
Michael Grade is not the man he was. When we last met, a long time ago now, he was everything that the caricatures made of him. He sat in a plush office, red braces and red socks, smoking a giant cigar. As boss of Channel 4 at the time, he was every bit the big mogul.
As Yaniv “Nev” Schulman points out, he’s got a fair amount in common with Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.
Both are 26, from Jewish families in New York and live enviable lives surrounded by the latest in geek-dream software. And for both, being part of what Schulman calls “the first Facebook generation” has had unimaginable consequences.
How can you make a sitcom about Shabbat, and never mention the J-word? Friday Night Dinner writer Robert Popper explains that the rituals of Friday night with the family resonate beyond Golders Green and Edgware.
Eran Riklis bristles when he is described as "political". But the Israeli filmmaker says it is a label he has had to accept, albeit with trepidation. "The word political is complicated. I used to say my films were not political, and people would smile and say 'Oh OK'."
Riklis, 56, first received worldwide attention for his 2008 film Lemon Tree, about a Palestinian widow whose lemon grove is set to be demolished to make way for the house of an Israeli security minister. Surely Israeli films do not get more political than that?
Peter Kosminsky cannot be accused of dodging the difficult assignments. He has made films about British soldiers in Bosnia, about the Falklands War, and the conflict in Northern Ireland. On one occasion while making a documentary about Soviet conscripts in Afghanistan he was marooned on a rocky mountainside for days as shells whizzed past his ears.
If you go to the Royal Festival Hall this Sunday, listen out for a lot of Hungarian around the foyers. Speakers of this fearsomely complex language will be out in force: January 16 marks the London launch of both the Hungarian presidency of the European Union and the bicentenary year of that Hungarian-born musical legend, Franz Liszt.