Bruno Based on a Real Gay Austrian?!

6/18/2009 10:33 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Austrian media is going crazy over the new movie "Bruno" -- claiming Sacha Baron Cohen based his fake flamboyant Austrian TV host ... on a real life flamboyant Austrian TV host.

The dude caught in the middle is Alfons Haider -- he's proud to be gay, he's into fashion, and (just like Bruno) he's also been known to compare himself to Zac Efron

Want more evidence? -- Alfons is the highest-paid presenter on Austrian state broadcaster ORF. In the film, Bruno works for a channel called OJRF. Coincidence?

The controversy has been raging in Austria for a while, but Haider just told The Telegraph newspaper, "I never understood the comparison to myself at all. The only comparisons I can think of is that I'm Austrian, I'm gay, and I work for television, but the rest is completely fiction."

Anyone really buyin' that?