IT IS set to be the last year that Britain's most festive street will host its official Christmas light switch-on event.

Hundreds usually gather to watch houses along Byron Road, in New Milton, turn from a row of property homes into an illumination of twinkling lights and nativity scenes.

Families counted down the seconds last Christmas when Shaine Singer from Channel 4 show The Undateables turned on the lights while goody bags, free mince pies and mulled wine were given out to the audience.

To date, £80,000 has been raised by the light display of which £10k was awarded by the Daily Mail in 2016 for the best lit street in England.

But this winter is the last official switch-on event due to "lots of work" that it involves for its organisers.

Jason Dean, presenter and organiser of the event, said: "This year is our last switch-on event but the lights themselves will continue to be on every year. There is the cost of insurance, and public liability costs are rising. My dad is not getting any older and we have been running the light switch-on event for 15 years now. We've decided to stop the switch-on after this year because of lots of work - my dad pays the insurance costs and he won't take a penny from charity.

"It all equates to about £1,000 just for two minutes of a light switch-on. But I can't see why the lights won't carry on every year, we just won't be putting on a switch-on event. This year will be the biggest and best switch-on ever. It's going to be a good one."

On Sunday December 1, thousands are expected to turn up to see celebrities such as comedy legend Jimmy Tarbuck, King Of The Jungle and ex-Saints manager Harry Redknapp with his wife Sandra, and ITV anchorman Fred Dinenage.

There will also be a performance from BGT semi-finalist Tony Rudd, along with music from the Mellor Sisters and Scott Haynes.

The three charities who will benefit from money raised at the light switch-on are Bournemouth Hospital Jigsaw Appeal, Thomas Hazleton through The National Children's Foundation, and self-funded Linwood School.

The switch-on event starts from 3pm onwards.