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 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, mince pies and mulled wine were given 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.

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.

Jason Dean, presenter and organiser of the event, told the Daily Echo: “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 isn’t getting any younger and we’ve been running the light switch-on event for 15 years.

“We’ve decided to stop the switch-on after this year because of lots of work - my dad pays 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 cannot see why the lights will not carry on every year, we just will not be putting on the 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 see celebrities such as comedy legend Jimmy Tarbuck, King Of The Jungle and former Cherries, Southampton and Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp with his wife Sandra, as well as ITV news 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 are Bournemouth Hospital Jigsaw Appeal, Thomas Hazleton through The National Children’s Foundation, and self-funded Linwood School.

The switch-on event takes place from 3pm onwards.