The show was based around an imaginary local radio station and the programmes that it might transmit. Characters on the show were mostly named after pieces of sound equipment, including Anna Daptor, Mike Flex, Mike Channel and Mike Stand. Filling out the character list was the incomprehensible Nigel Pry, the incompetent Martin Brown and the carefully enunciated Mike Hunt.
The show had its origins in the Oxford Student Drama community, especially in the musical parodies of Philip Pope, which were regularly featured on Radio Active. The best known of these is the BeeGees parody The Hee Bee Gee Bees, with their song Meaningless Songs, which became a moderate hit.
The show transferred to TV as KYTV, which never realised the success of its radio version.
A new one-off episode of Radio Active, the first for 15 years, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 2002.