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Biz scrambles to avoid ash

London junket for 'Robin Hood' cancelled

The volcanic ash cloud from the Iceland volcano has continued to lay waste to showbiz plans across Europe.

Despite the announcement that all U.K. airports were set to open Tuesday evening, the London junket for Cannes opening night film “Robin Hood” was cancelled and moved to Los Angeles, while in Germany, Disney cancelled the premiere of Miley Cyrus starrer “The Last Song,” due to be held in Munich.

Cyrus will not attend the U.K. premiere of the pic, while actress Demi Moore is unable to get into Blighty for press junkets for her film, “The Joneses.”

Even heads of state are not immune: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her delegation were in the U.S. last week to attend President Barack Obama’s nuclear security summit, and also to visit the Warner Bros. studio and other California hot spots.

It took the group three days to get back to Berlin, on a flight via Lisbon to Rome, where they boarded cars and buses for the road trip back to the German capital.

A group of German producers, distributors, film subsidy officials and festival reps were also forced to take a 40-hour bus journey from Istanbul to Berlin after attending the second German-Turkish Co-Production Meeting.

The London Book Fair was massively impacted by the ash cloud with hundreds of publishers, agents and authors unable to reach the event, which was down by nearly half.

TV bizzers were still stuck in Cannes, host to last week’s Mip TV mart, where the Palais de Festivals opened a business center and help desk for stranded delegates on Monday. Companies including BBC Worldwide and Virgin Media reportedly had staff marooned at the French resort attempting to return to the U.K. or the U.S.

The chief of Blighty’s Royal Television Society, Simon Albury, is among those holed up in Las Vegas, where he had been at NAB. Albury hopes to return Sunday.

Copenhagen’s CPH:PIX Film Festival had to scramble when jury members Amat Escalente and Finola Dwyer were unable to reach Copenhagen. Local helmer Pernille Fischer Christensen and producer Jon Nguyen, who lives in the Danish capital, took over jury duties. Helmers Atom Egoyan, Ralston Jover and Feo Aladag were forced to cancel plans to attend, while a seminar on Mexican cinema was axed because of lack of participants.

But the show must go on. British webs Channel 4 and Five have commissioned docus on the eruption.

Ed Meza in Berlin and Gunnar Rehlin in Stockholm contributed to this report.

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