CONJOINED twins Abby and Brittany Hensel fascinated a nation when they graced the cover of Life magazine in 1996 at the age of six.
Two appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show followed and the Hensels’ incredible story went global.
Now they are back in the spotlight with their own reality show titled Abby and Brittany. The cameras follow the sisters as they graduate from Minnesota’s Bethel University and start looking for a job. “Everywhere they go, they get the stares,” a friend says in a preview for the show. “I don’t know how they do that every day.”
The sisters, who share a body fused at the torso, are at pains to point out that they have very different personalities.
But one thing they won’t do is talk about boyfriends. “The whole world doesn’t need to know who we are seeing, what we are doing and when we are going to do it. But believe me, we are totally different people,” says Brittany.
“Yeah, we are going to be moms one day, but we don’t want to talk about how it’s going to work yet,” Abby adds.
The girls are dicephalic parapagus, which means they share one body but have two separate heads.
Their parents, Patty and Mike, said they never considered having them separated. “From the first time we saw them we thought they were beautiful. I kissed Abigail and then Brittany and gave them both a hug,” Mrs Hensel said.
“It’s been like that ever since – two kisses and a hug for the most beautiful children in the world.”
Abby says: “The best thing about being conjoined twins is there’s always someone there to talk to.”
“And you are never alone,” Brittany adds.
The girls never let their condition get in the way of a normal life, and in the show they explain how they drive a car.
Brittany controls the right side of the body, while Abby steers the left, also working the accelerator with her foot.
“Abby does the pedals and the gear shifter, I take the blinkers and lights. But she likes driving faster than me,” Brittany jokes.