Conductorand wife die in a suicideclinic ally and personally. Our parents had no reli- gious beliefs and there will be no funeral. They also said Sir Edward and Lady Downes would be missed by their grandchildren Omar and Zeki and other family and friends. The deaths will revive controversy over the Swiss clinic and its role in assisting suicides. At least 115 Britons are thought to have travelled to Dignitas to end their lives. The Crown Prosecution Service has so far failed to prosecute in any case. Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor, has proposed the creation of a framework in law that would allow people legally to travel abroad to assist in a suicide. It is not clear if Sir Edward and his wife travelled alone to Geneva or were taken there. Sir Edward was widely regarded as one of Britains finest conduc- tors. He began his career at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden but also spent more than 40 years closely associated with the BBC Philharmonic. He received numerous awards and hon- ours, was made a CBE in 1986 and then knighted in 1991. ONE of Britains greatest conductors and his wife of 54 years have taken their own lives at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, their family announced today. Sir Edward Downes, 85, and his wife Joan, 74, drank overdoses of barbiturates at the Dignitas clinic in Zurich. The couple decided to end their lives together rather than struggle with serious health problems. Sir Edward, who was principal conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 1980 to 1991, had suffered with near blindness for the past 15 years and was going deaf. Lady Downes had terminal cancer and he could not go on living without her, said Sir Edwards agent Jonathan Groves. In a statement, the couples son and daugh- ter, Caractacus and Boudicca, said: It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our parents Edward and Joan Downes on Friday 10 July. They died peacefully, and under circumstances of their own choosing. Our father had a long, vigorous and dis- tinguished career as a conductor. Our mother started her career as a ballet dancer and subsequently worked as a choreographer and TV producer, before dedicating the last years of her life to working as our fathers personal assistant. They both lived life to the full and consid- ered themselves to be extremely lucky to have lived such rewarding lives, both profession- London Lite Tuesday, 14 July 2009 Many of our best winter deals are booked early doors. Visit or call 0844 557 3916 Book by 14th July. *Prices are for departure dates stated and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room with return economy flights and include all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are correct at time of print and are subject to change. Prices advertised include online discount; if booked by telephone a higher price applies. Peak season and weekend supplements may apply. 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He plays at the Lovebox Festival in Victoria Park on Sunday and Shepherds Bush Empire on 25 July. Studio or stage? The stage is more immediate. The studio is just a dark room somewhere. Piano or synth? I find the tone and texture of the piano is very expressive and it works straight out of the box. City or country? Im not a great people person so wherever there arent many of them is better. Restaurant or takeaway? Takeaway. Most of the food I like is junk food. Responsible dad or rocknroller? You dont realise how brilliant a rocknroll lifestyle is until you have kids and cant do it any more. The dad thing is less exciting but far more challenging. Late nights or early mornings? Im better in the mornings and because of the children Im up at 6.30am. Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney? Ha! To shoot or hang out with? Mick Jagger is less offensive, I guess. Cars or Are Friends Electric? Cars sold more copies but the success of Are Friends Electric was a surprise. Its so not a hit single -- its too long, you cant dance to it -- and yet it was. Bowie or Bolan? Marc Bolan (left) is the reason I wanted to be a pop star. simonbutton A London man found crushed to death at a rubbish dump had got into a wheelie bin after a night out. The body of Scott Williams, 35, from Wembley, was found yesterday morning at a waste site in East Sussex. He had last been seen drinking with a friend in Brighton on Saturday. A postmortem revealed that he had died of crush injuries and it is believed his body was tipped out of a dustcart containing rubbish collected from wheelie bins around the city. A Sussex Police spokeswoman said they were still investigating how Mr Williams came to be in the truck. She added: It is assumed that Scott, who had been out with a friend and was seen in public houses in the city until 1am on Sunday, had been in one of the wheelie bins. Police are treating his death as unexplained rather than suspicious. Staff at Sussex Waste Recycling Ltd were sent home for the day following the grisly discovery. Company director dave Ely said: Staff started looking through the waste and one of them saw what he thought was a body. At that point the police were alerted and that is as much as we know. by bo wilson Devoted: conductor Sir Edward Downes, right and above with wife Joan H index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html