Branham, Fox 8 newscaster picture perfect "twins"

By Jane Ernsberger
Times-Junction News Editor

There is an old wives tale that says for each person, there is a twin somewhere. For genetic twins, it's a no brainer.

Willard's own Ricky Branham thinks he has found his twin, and so do fans of Fox 8 television in Cleveland, with on air personality Todd Meany.

"I'd seen him before," Branham said."I never thought I looked like him."

The morning show put out a call for look-alikes for their on screen personalities. Branham said his mother, Ellen Blackburn, watches the Fox 8 morning show every day. Blackburn thought her son was a perfect match. So did a lady at the church Branham pastors.

When people want information, they do what Branham said he did. They go to Google where he saw photos of Meany. Then the resemblance actually struck him.

"I did see it," he said. "Especially around the mouth and eyes and the hairline."

Branham said he decided to enter the contest. On his lunchtime he submitted the application and a photo. It took all of five minutes.

"I didn't tell my wife, Victoria, that I did it," Branham recalled."I didn't think anything would come of it." Then, Branham said he got the notice he had won the twin competition with Meany.

"I couldn't believe it," Branham said. "Now I had to tell Victoria."

Branham was able to take his wife to the live production on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at the Fox 8 studio in Cleveland. They arrived at 8 a.m.

When Meany and Branham met, he said it was an immediate twin connection. The two men shared a handshake and a hug. That, Branham noted, really broke the ice.

After winning the contest, and before appearing on the telecast, the producers of the show asked Branham about his interests. The multi-faceted young man, who serves as pastor of his church, director of the Willard Area Chamber of Commerce, is a registered nurse for Mercy Willard Hospital and the Willard City Schools and is a member of Willard City Council, shared some of his interests with the production staff, including his talent at juggling.

"They also asked if I was musical," Branham noted. "I have absolutely no musical talent." So, juggling it would be for the twins. Both men are left handed. As family and friends watched across television sets and Internet access, Branham and Meany displayed their ability with eggs, albeit hardboiled eggs.

Branham appeared at ease once the mirror was slid away to reveal Meany's twin. He said he was nervous right before that moment, but as he prayed a peace came over him and he stepped out into the spotlight. "I was ready to go," he stated.

Filming was in a live studio, some place Branham said he had never been. Victoria was on the set while her husband was in front of the cameras.

"We got the whole experience," he pointed out. "We got some memories we will cherish. We got to see how they actually do the news, move cameras and do the sound."

The couple got to spend time with the Fox 8 morning show team, something Branham said the couple enjoyed tremendously.

"They were so personable," he noted. "They were so warm and made us feel welcome. They took time and talked with us and were so down to earth."

He loves spontaneity and living in the moment. Branham said he thinks this is why he was so comfortable on camera, and with a little help from a prayer. Whatever the forum, he said he likes to live for the moment with the people around him.

Branham might also have a short gig at the news desk.

"Todd Meany joked and asked me to fill in for him when he went on vacation," Branham noted and chuckled. "I took it as a compliment."

Branham said there was talk of a reunion for the twins in the future. He will be there.

Branham called Meany a jack-of-all-trades on the morning show. He does the news, entertainment and other happenings on the web. It was, he noted, a carbon copy of his own work.

Not everyone thinks there is a twin out there. Branham said he always did. "I think I found my twin on Fox 8 News."

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