Britain's first national local radio station which had a program exchange program with BBC radio 4 such that they occasionally broadcast each others shows. This BBC radio comedy series ran for I believe 7 series in the 1980's and lampooned large areas of broadcasting.
There were all kinds of interesting characters:
- Mike Flex (played by Geoffrey Perkins) - Mercenary hip radio 1 style disk jockey who is always trying to improve his position particularly at the expense of his colleague Mike Channel (even going to the extreme of announcing his death on air – much to Mike Channel's surprise).
- Mike Channel (played by Angus Deayton) – Somewhat older and more mature radio 2 style disk jockey who is constantly being undermined by Mike Flex (to whom he repeatedly loses his shows). He also plays Aaron the Aardvark ("Aark aark") on the Saturday morning show "Wey Hey it's Saturday".
- Uncle Mike Stand - Friendly kids presenter and scout leader who totally denies all the sordid rumours, and anyway he's put all that behind him. Not a very regular presenter (often relaxing at Her Majesty's pleasure).
- Mike Hunt - The oh so daring daredevil of the airwaves. He often takes advatage of the non-visual aspect of radio when performing his acts of dering do.
- Anna Rabies (played by Helen Atkinson-Wood) – The totally unsympathetic, sex-mad, and bullying agony aunt who makes Dr. Ruth look positively prudish on occasions.
- Martin Brown (played by Michael Fenton-Stevens) – Totally ineffectual ex-hospital radio disk jockey. Famous for being useless, wet, and very very cheap. He laughs at his own (unfunny) jokes and creates jingles suitable only for the tone deaf.
- Oyvin Vinstra – Swedish disk jockey who only speaks a little English and so does not realise the madhouse he is in. He did such wonders as interviewing the group Ah-Ha in Swedish. His main Catchphrase is "And on vith de Moosic" which he says whenever he doesn't understand the English (but then who does?). Also very cheap.
- Anna Daptor - Perky and food obsessed disk jockey/presenter who is always doing recipes etc. Though things have a habit of going wrong ("When I said any oil would do for basting the turkey I should have excluded engine sump oil").
- Nigel Pry (played by Philip Pope) – A very confused and bizarre reporter who only made sense when stoned. He used to have most of the correct words in there but with little regard for the rules of grammar.
- Sir Norman Tonsil - The owner of the radio station (name changed to Sir Kenneth Yellowhammer for KY TV). Always on the lookout to make save money (why he hired Martin Brown).
Radio Active did spoofs on a large number of different styles of show, some examples are:
- Probe Around the Back - Their investigation into the shady world of spies and double agents (ala Spycatcher).
- Get Away With You - A Holiday program (Frank Bough beware)
- Nuclear Mass Debate (say it out loud – Mike Channel tried hard to avoid it) – A discussion on nuclear war where the audience were in favour of nuking the panel by the end.
- Mike Says "Here's a bit of Talent" - New Faces style talent contest done with the usual Radio Active good taste.
- God Alone Knows - Sunday morning religious programming with the Right Reverend Reverend Wright, and Honest Ron's new version of the Bible ("Honest Ron, Honest Ron. The others are a con").
- The Radio Active Bogies - A broadcasting awards show ("You're the best in the land when there's a Bogie in your hand").
- Did You Catch It? and Backchat - Program review and feedback shows (a good excuse for parodies that could not carry an entire show).
There were a number of regular features in the shows:
- "Mike Flex's Master Quiz" had a chateau in the Loire as the prize (which he used at weekends while it was unwon). This was never claimed due to Flex's novel questions and rules (Splicing different songs together for what comes next, asking for dates to the nearest second, and in an extreme case disqualifying a contestant because he admitted to having heard the quiz before).
- The Radio Active Repertory Company put on plays for the station as though they were reading the script for the first time and English were not their native tongue (e.g. "Okey Dokey .. uh .. Okay Doc", and "It's man's laughter … manslaughter.").
- They did blindingly obvious public information messages "Before going on holiday do not hang up a banner saying 'We are going away' and leave your doors wide open."
- They broadcast commercials for products such as "Pheel Zikk – a delicate blend of whisky and tomato juice" and cures for people who can't stop talking as though they were in radio adverts.
- Philip Pope also did some quite vicious musical parodies of current pop records for the show.
They also used to enjoy finishing the show with a piece that left the following BBC Radio 4 continuity announcer in the lurch (I believe they refer to them as continuity traps).
"Available now from the BBC: "Greatest Continuity Announcements 2". Reminisce with the classics such as "That was the News", "Here is the News", "Ooops I've just cut in on the News", and of course … <end of show>
There was also at least one book, "Radio Active Times", a parody in the style of the BBC TV and Radio listings magazine Radio Times.
The creators went on to create a television version of this called "KY TV" but it was never really as good.