In the long-running The Good Life (1975), one of the most successful British sitcoms of all time, Briers played Tom Good, a businessman who decides to opt out of the rat race and go in for self-sufficiency, with the support of his long-suffering wife (Felicity Kendal). It was difficult for him to follow the great success of the series, but to some extent he managed this with Ever Decreasing Circles (1984), in which he showed himself to have some versatility by playing a less likeable character.
Subsequently, Briers branched out into serious acting and has appeared in films such as Henry V (1989) and Much Ado About Nothing (1993). His most recent success was in the semi-comic role of Sir Hector in the BBC drama series, Monarch of the Glen.
Briers is a familiar voiceover actor, with numerous commercials, and the animated children's series Roobarb and Custard to his credit.