Manju Patel ran her own business called Walford Fashion which was a niche retail shop that sold Saris. Originally she was only to be a guest character, making two appearances on 4 May 2007 and 21 May 2007 Due to her popularity, she was brought back to the show later in 2007.
Mrs Patel's primary purpose was as a plot device in the exit of nurse Naomi Julien, after the actress Petra Letang left the show. However, following her two appearances on 4 May and 21 May 2007, she became popular with fans, to the point where she has been called a "cult icon" by Digital Spy soaps editor Kris Green. It was announced on 16 August 2007 that she would be return to the show later in 2007.
Mrs Patel is a patient of Walford's general practitioner, May Wright. May writes out a double prescription for her, and takes one of the bottles of dihydrocodeine pills for her own personal use. She later tells nurse Naomi Julien that it is a mistake, after Mrs Patel points this out.
Mrs Patel is later mentioned on 9 August 2007 during a telephone conversation between Dot Branning and Charlie Slater. On 9 November it is revealed that Mrs Patel is Billy Mitchell's new landlady. She gives him one month's notice to vacate the flat along with his wife Honey Mitchell and baby Janet because she wants a professional couple with no children to live there. Eventually, Mrs Patel decides to evict the couple from the flat. However, Billy changes the locks so Mrs Patel cannot enter. When Billy is out buying nappies, Mrs Patel gets help from her nephews to get into the flat and remove Honey, the children and all their belongings. She offers Billy money as a good will gesture but Billy refuses to accept it.
Though she does not appear again, Manju is mentioned on 13 May 2008 by Shabnam Masood who tells her mother Zainab Masood that she is going to see if Mrs Patel has any new clothes in her Sari shop. On 24 July Mrs Patel's shop is mentioned by Jane Beale when she is looking to buy some fabric for an Indian lunch that she and Husband Ian Beale are holding at the café. They buy the material from Mrs Patel after seeing it although Mrs Patel isn't seen. Mrs Patel is then mentioned on 24 March 2009 when Syd Chambers announces she is renting 13A Turpin Road, the flat above the bookies from her. In April 2010, she rents the flat to Syed Masood and Amira Masood. In 2012 she is mentioned by Denise Fox and Zainab at Heather Trott's funeral service.
List of Appearances
- Episode 3359 (4 May 2007)
- Episode 3368 (21 May 2007)
- Episode 3468 (9 November 2007)
- Episode 3469 (12 November 2007)
- Episode 3472 (19 November 2007)
- Episode 3484 (10 December 2007)
- Episode 3485 (11 December 2007)
- Episode 3489 (18 December 2007)
- Episode 3490 (20 December 2007)