1- Yes, it's the spotlights.
2- This is a bit strange; he either mean 'ups and downs' (highs and lows) or that he has had periods of fame mixed with periods of being unknown.
3- I presume he means he was like a holiday because he was so cheerful
4- If you are six-love down at tennis, you have lost a set, but not the game, so he knew that when down he could come back.
He does sound a bit of a prat to me.
Student or Learner