Paul cutting bigger piece of ‘Pie’

Encouraged by the public’s response to his new album, Paul McCartney has increased his involvement in promoting “Flaming Pie,” his first disc in more than four years.

Although McCartney still hasn’t agreed to perform a series of dates or to launch a tour to tout the Capitol Records disc, he has been doing radio interviews and has a pair of unusual TV appearances lined up.

The former Beatle has agreed to appear on “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and a crew from the NBC show will take the unusual step of flying to the U.K. for the June 30 segment.

‘PI’ fan

McCartney has also expressed an interest in being a panelist on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” as he’s a fan of the show. Maher is a professed Beatles fan and McCartney would join a long and growing list of recording artists who have appeared on the program, among them Meat Loaf, Joan Baez and Gloria Estefan.

The increased profile and involvement of McCartney would likely goose sales of “Flaming Pie,” which sold a healthy 68,000 copies last week based primarily on the gaining strength at radio of the disc’s first single “The World Tonight.”

Extensive ground work laid by execs at the label and the singer’s hefty presence on VH1 has also helped spur sales. McCartney is the cabler’s Artist of the Month for June.

McCartney, who is also taping a segment for an electronic press kit in London today which will be serviced to radio and media, has been doing phone interviews with several prominent radio stations throughout the country, including KLOS in Los Angeles and 99X in San Diego.

The singer initially told marketers he would maintain a relatively low profile during the disc’s release.

But insiders said as the public’s reaction to the disc grows, so does the singer’s involvement in promoting it.

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