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This Week's Must-See TV: 5 Shows You Shouldn't Miss

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Strictly Come Dancing, Tess and Bruce

© BBC

If you believe the conspiracy theorists, the Mayans have deduced that this Friday will mark the end of the world. We certainly hope that's not the case, as there's some excellent bits of telly scheduled for this weekend, including the Strictly Come Dancing final, A-list gem Hemingway & Gellhorn and the conclusion of Homeland.

Plus, Friday will see the return of ITV's star-studded charity appeal Text Santa (8pm on ITV1), fronted by Ant and Dec, Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield, Paddy McGuinness and Christine Bleakley. It'll surely be better than the apocalypse...

Bad Santas: Monday (December 17) at 9pm on Channel 4
Admittedly it's been a while since we sat on one's knee, but even as wee bairns we were probably more concerned about the faint smell of alcohol emitting from your average mall Santa than deducing who this random man actually was.

Well, for those who have always wondered just where these guys come from, the answer is revealed in Bad Santas, a two-part documentary going behind the scenes at the UK's most successful Santa School. Have you spotted any of these homeless, jobless, law-breaking Father Christmas wannabes outside your local Peacocks?

Watch the trailer for Bad Santas below:



Strictly Come Dancing: Saturday (December 22) at 6.30pm on BBC One
It's been probably the most impressive series to date, but even so, only one can inherit the Strictly title from McFly's Harry Judd. Right now Louis Smith, Denise Van Outen, Lisa Riley, Kimberley Walsh and Dani Harmer are still in the running, with four going on to compete for the Glitterball Trophy in this year's final.

As it stands, pretty much anyone could be walking away the winner. Denise has been brilliant throughout, but last week's bottom two placing would suggest she doesn't have that much public support - something that plus-sized revelation Lisa Riley and Olympic charmer Louis Smith have no such problem with. And let's not forget how amazing Kimberley Walsh looks in...well, everything. She's got our vote for that alone.

Watch Kimberley Walsh get a perfect 40 on last week's Strictly Come Dancing:



Hemingway & Gellhorn: Saturday (December 22) at 9pm on Sky Atlantic
Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen add some Hollywood glamour to this week's TV schedules in Hemingway & Gellhorn, a feature-length drama about Ernest Hemingway and the love of his life, Spanish Civil War correspondent Martha Gellhorn.

No expense is spared as the romance between the legendary author and the woman cited as inspiration behind For Whom the Bell Tolls is played out across continents and decades. With Kidman and Owen electric throughout, Hemingway & Gellhorn simply shouldn't be missed.

Watch the trailer for Hemingway & Gellhorn below:



Loving Miss Hatto: Sunday (December 23) at 8.30pm on BBC One
Victoria Wood brings to life the charming, if morally questionable, true story of failed classical musician Joyce Hatto, who found redemption while dying of cancer in her 70s by being dubbed 'the greatest living pianist that almost no-one has ever heard of'.

However, six months after her death it was discovered that many of Hatto's recordings were made by other pianists and, along with her beloved record producer husband William Barrington-Coupe, she had apparently pulled off the greatest hoax in classical music history. Maimie McCoy and Rory Kinnear, then later Francesca Annis and Alfred Molina play the desperate and desperately in love couple in this story of complex charm.

Watch the trailer for Loving Miss Hatto below:



Homeland: Sunday (December 23) at 9pm on Channel 4
Carrie and Brody's escapades this season have been a little sillier than the last, but, goddammit, this is Homeland, and it's still the best damn thing on TV.

Since Homeland's penultimate episode hasn't even aired in the UK yet, there's not a lot we're willing to say about the terrorism thriller's finale, but given that last season ended with a shooting, a bomb threat and more crazy goodness from Carrie, season two's swan song is bound to be one heck of an early Christmas present.

Watch the promo for the Homeland finale below (contains spoilers):



What are you looking forward to watching this week? Leave your comments below!

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