MORE than a thousand people turned up to watch King of the Jungle Harry Redknapp perform the last-ever celebrity Christmas lights switch on at Byron Road.

The street in New Milton has been dubbed Britain's most festive and has so far raised over £80,000 for good causes since the idea was started 15 years ago by resident Ged Hollyoake.

Harry Redknapp was joined by his wife, Sandra, TV presenter Fred Dineage, Kim Black and her son, Thomas Hazelton who has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy for the countdown and big switch-on.

Thomas is one of the three recipients of the fundraising from the street through The National Children's Foundation, with the Bournemouth Hospital Jigsaw Appeal and Linwood School also receiving money.

Spectators enjoyed live music acts on stage before the ceremony took place.

The annual event will now be scrapped, however, as it has become too expensive to hold, costing £1000 in insurance. There have also been complaints from some residents that visitors had blocked streets and dropped litter.

Last year Adam and Sallyanne Gibson say they were 'fed up' with the chaos the display causes.

The couple, who have lived in the street for 12 years, said visitors in previous years have blocked their driveway, damaged their car and even sworn at them.

Mr Gibson, 52, said: "We used to put lights on our house but we stopped about two years ago as a point of principle really.

"It's not the lights themselves that are the problem, it's everything else that comes with it.

"Too many people come down here now to look at them and it just gets too congested.

"We have come home on more than one occasion and found cars parked right across our driveway."

Last year the lights were switched on by Bournemouth poet Shaine Singer from Channel 4 show The Undateables, watched by crowds of all ages.

Goody bags were handed out to youngsters under the age of eight and there were free mince pies and mulled wine for the grown-ups.

Three years ago a TV crew visited the street and spent a day filming a Cadbury’s Christmas advert, which was broadcast nationally throughout the festive season.

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

Organiser Jason Dean announced on stage that it was the last year the switch event was going to take place and said to the crowd: “It’s the cost of insurance."